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Concussion Awareness

Concussion Awareness

Concussion

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While the effects of concussion have become a mainstream topic of conversation with high profile cases of CTE in professional athletes and movies like 2015's Concussion staring Will Smith there is still a great deal of misinformation and confusion regarding the identification and treatment of concussions.  

According to Health Canada:

Public opinion research with parents, coaches, athletes, school staff and health professionals shows that:

  • 1 in 2 have little or no knowledge
  • 1 in 4 do not know how concussion is treated
  • 15% can identify the best ways to treat concussion
  • 4 in 10 know how to find information and other resources


​This page is intended to help provide access to information and resources for Students, Athletes, Teachers, Coaches and Parents on how to recognize a possible concussion, how to seek proper treatment and best practices in returning to activity.

It is important to note that while most of the information provided will refer to sports related concussions, a concussion can occur from any incident that cause excessive, rapid movement of the brain inside the skull.

Concussion Awareness Training Tools

The Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT), is a free, online resource that coaches, school professionals, parents, and students/athletes can use to better understand concussion care. Developed by the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit at BC Children's Hospital and the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT) can be found here: https://cattonline.com/.

To learn more on concussion awareness that fits your situation click on the Concussion Awareness Training e-learning courses and accompanying resources listed below. Each course takes approximately 45 mins to complete.

Parachute, founded in 2012 through the amalgamation of four charities in the injury prevention field, has become Canada’s leader in injury prevention focused on three key areas where people are unintentionally injured: in the home, at play, and on the move. Parachute provides current research and a wide variety of downloadable resources and tools for recognizing and responding to concussions and can be found here: https://parachute.ca/en/injury-topic/concussion/

Parachute Canadian Guidelines on Concussions in Sport
Click the button below for information and access to the Parachute Concussion Ed App


Concussion Awareness - What to Know

Recognition

Concussions are the most common form of head injury caused by an impact or forceful motion of the head or other part of the body, resulting in rapid movement of the brain within the skull. A concussion can happen to anyone at any time. Common causes include falls, motor vehicle crashes, and sports and recreational activities. MYTH: If the person was not hit in the head or did not lose consciousness, they do not have a concussion. FACT: A blow to the head is not the only way an individual can sustain a concussion—a concussion may be caused by a direct blow to the head, face, neck, or a blow elsewhere on the body with an ‘impulsive’ force transmitted to the head. Concussions occur from blows to different parts of the body of varying magnitude. A relatively minor impact may result in a concussion, while a high-magnitude hit may not. There is therefore no way to know for certain whether a particular blow will lead to a concussion. Click here for a quick guide to What you need to know about Concussions


Response

Refer to the red flag symptoms. If there are no Red Flag symptoms:
  • Notify an emergency contact person, parent or guardian
  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Continue to monitor for Red Flag and signs of a concussion
  • Do not let the person return to the activity or sport
  • Do not give the person any immediate medication
  • Do not let the person leave alone
  • Do not let the person drive or ride a bike

MYTH: A person with a potential concussion can return to sport, play, or normal activity the same day.

FACT: If a person has a suspected concussion, they should NOT return to sport or activity and should be seen by a medical professional and/or monitored for delayed symptoms for 48 hours.

If after 24-48 hours no signs or symptoms appear, the child or youth can return to normal activity but should be monitored for several days. If no signs or symptoms appear, chances are that a concussion was not sustained. If unsure, a medical opinion is recommended.

Rowan's Story Canada's first concussion safety legislation (i.e. Rowan's Law) aims to promote public awareness of concussion. Specifically, this new law recognizes the potential for catastrophic outcomes when a child or youth is allowed to return to play after an initial head injury or while recovering (still experiencing symptoms) from a prior concussion.

Link to Rowan Stringer's Story

Red Flag Symptoms

If someone shows any of the following Red Flag Symptoms,call 911 immediately.
  • Neck pain or Tenderness
  • Double vision
  • Weakness or tingling/burning in arms/legs
  • Severe or increasing headache
  • Seizure or convulsion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Deteriorating conscious state
  • Vomiting
  • Increasingly restless, agitated, or combative

Quick Links

Concussion Incident Report
Medical Assessment Letter
Questions for your Doctor caregiver/emergency contact version
Questions for your Doctor parent version

Clinics in Northern BC

PG Physio North Sports and Wellness Centre
Prince George Urgent and Primary Care Centre
Quesnel Urgent and Primary Care Centre
Other Northern BC Primary Care Clinics


Recovery

IMPORTANT: Recovery from a concussion is very individualized. Children and youth tend to experience a longer recovery period than adults.

The recovery process for concussion begins with resting the brain for up to 2 days, followed by a gradual and well-managed return to activity. This is best done in collaboration with key individuals in the person's life such as health care providers, family members (parent/partner/caregiver), friends, employers, teachers and school staff, coaches, etc.

Recovery from concussion spans the home and work/school/sport settings. It starts immediately following the concussion causing incident and ends when the individual has gradually returned to normal activities including work, school, and physical activity.

For more information on managing a concussion visit https://cattonline.com/overview-what-is-a-concussion/

Return to Sport and School

School
Students with a concussion require support and guidance to help them plan and organize how to reintegrate back into school.

After a concussion, a lot of ordinary things at school can bring back symptoms. Stimulation from other students in the classroom, loud noises on the playground or hallway, and the stress of school work can trigger headaches, nausea, dizziness and confusion.
The recommended strategy guiding a child or youth's return to school involves a step-wise process of engaging in (and tolerating) cognitive activity.

The general rule is that each stage (or step) may take 24 hours. If symptoms do not worsen and/or result in the development of new symptoms, the process continues. However, if concussion symptoms resurface, a return to the previous stage for at least 24 hours is recommended. If symptoms fail to improve or worsen, immediate medical help is advised.

Sport
Recovery from a concussion and a return to play and sport follows a graduated, stepwise rehabilitative process. This involves an initial period of rest (24–48 hours) during which symptom-limited activity can begin.

Once concussion-related symptoms have resolved, a child or youth can continue to proceed to the next level if concussion-related symptoms do not resurface.

Generally, each step should take 24 hours and so a return to play and sport would take a minimum of 1 week to move through the full rehabilitation process once concussion symptoms have disappeared. This time frame may vary with player age, history, level of sport, etc. A child or youth should not return to play or sport until they have successfully completed a full return to school.