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Traumatic Brain Injuries are Common in Summer Activities
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Summer activities have their risks. Although it seems that most team sports are out of the question for summer activities these days there are plenty of other ways we get active in the summer.

As COVID-19 has done to so many facets of our lives, it has changed the way we exercise. With gyms and sports leagues closed down many people have taken to the roads on their bicycles, roller blades, and scooters. As the warm weather comes canoeing, stand up paddling, kayaking and power boating will also pick up. Walking and hiking rates are also on the rise as public spaces open further. This is all great news for our mental and physical health. We do need to be cautious of the risks of some sports though.

Summer sports can mean TBI rates increase.  TBIs occur as a result of a blow, impact or other injury to the head. They can result in loss of consciousness or not. Those who suffer a TBI may have symptoms for hours, days, months or years. They can be cognitive or emotional symptoms. Younger people are particularly at risk as they tend to partake in more risky activities and may not wear proper protective equipment like helmets. The best way to prevent a brain injury is to use good judgement, and to wear safety equipment.

One of the most common sources of concussion in physical activity comes from falls from bicycles. Often in bicycle accidents the victims head strikes the ground, the curb or another object like a car. Helmets can help to cushion the blow and to shield the head from injury. Studies have shown that wearing a helmet while cycling can reduce the chance of a serious head and brain injury by nearly 70%.

Head and spinal injuries are also common accidents that result from swimming in pools and lakes. Diving into bodies of water can be particularly dangerous and have disastrous results.

The Government of Canada reports that children are at particular risk of head injury in the following summer and winter sports:

For children and youth 5 to 19 years:

  •    brain injuries made up 80% of emergency department visits, out of all head injuries from sports and recreation

 For boys and girls 5 to 9 years:

  •    brain injuries were most common in ice hockey, compared to all types of injuries in this sport

For children and youth 10 to 14 years:

  •   for boys, brain injuries were most common in ice hockey, out of all types of injuries in this sport
  •   for girls, brain injuries were most common in ringette, out of all types of injuries in this sport

For children and youth 15 to 19 years:

  •    for boys, brain injuries were most common in rugby, out of all types of injuries in this sport
  •   for girls, brain injuries were most common in ringette, out of all types of injuries in this sport

 

    In 2016-17 over 46,000 children had a concussion that required hospital care.

Posted on Thursday, Feb 25, 2021 - 10:51:00 AM EST
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