“The best concussion is the one that does not happen. However, every year there are an estimated 200,000 concussions in Canada, making it the most common mild type of brain injury. Any blow to the head, face, neck or body can cause a concussion. A study conducted by the Injury Prevention Centre determined that in Alberta, the highest number of concussions was due to falls, followed by sporting activities and motor vehicle accidents.
“On this second annual Concussion Awareness Day, we can all work together to raise awareness of recognizing and managing symptoms, as well as supporting concussion sufferers in their recovery. Follow the gradual stages for return to school, work and sport after a concussion. Returning to activities too quickly can slow recovery and bring on long-lasting effects.
“Understanding how concussions can occur and recognizing the symptoms is crucial. Left untreated, concussion symptoms can be long-lasting, and long-term effects can be serious and cumulative. Learning the signs and symptoms of concussion – which can include physical symptoms as well as cognitive and behavioural changes – is a great first step.
“Coaches, athletes, trainers, officials, physical education teachers, health-care staff and Albertans in general – we all have a role to play in concussion awareness, prevention, detection and management. Resources and materials to support concussion management are available at the Injury Prevention Centre, the Sport Medicine Council of Alberta, Alberta Sport and MyHealth Alberta.”