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Play it Safe with Concussion Awareness

By guest blogger Bev Smith, Executive Director of Kidsports

Sports-related concussions in youth sports can be serious or even life-threatening situations if not managed correctly. Medical research into sports-related concussions and the management of athletes with possible concussions have recently gained a lot of momentum. The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) and the Oregon State Legislature have passed initiatives to ensure the safe and appropriate management of all youth sport participants who exhibit signs of a possible concussion.

KIDSPORTS believes in providing a safe environment for its youth sport participants, coaches, and families to enjoy while participating in our programs. For our coaches, KIDSPORTS will require annual training on concussion safety. This will include a website video training tool that requires each coach to print a certificate of proof upon completion of the educational material prior to being assigned to coach a KIDSPORT team.

KIDSPORTS wants to make sure that the parents of young athletes also understand the signs and symptoms of concussions as well as being aware and knowledgeable of concussion management protocol. We ask that all parents visit the KIDSPORTS website – and click on Parent and Athlete information to read about the KIDSPORT Participant Concussion Management Policy.

A concussion is a brain injury and all brain injuries are serious. They are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or by a blow to another part of the body with the force transmitted to the head. They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. Even though most concussions are mild, all concussions are potentially serious and may result in complications including prolonged brain damage and death if not recognized and managed properly. In other words, even a “ding” or a bump on the head can be serious. You can’t see a concussion and most sports concussions occur without loss of consciousness. Signs and symptoms of concussion may show up right after the injury or can take hours or days to fully appear. Coaches, parents, and officials need to be aware of the symptoms of concussion and if they notice the symptoms or signs of concussion, to seek medical attention right away.

On behalf of KIDSPORTS and the ACTive Athletic Concussion Training for Coaches, we ask you to remember: “when in doubt, keep them out and keep them safe!”

Bev Smith, Executive Director Kidsports

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