Safe Kids Week 2013: Lessons Learned
Safe Kids Week 2013: Heads Up! Be Alert. Be Safe. Be Aware of Concussions
Safe Kids Week took place on May 27 to June 2, 2013. The theme of Safe Kids Week 2013 focused on concussion prevention and awareness. Brain injuries, such as concussions, are increasingly gaining attention as a concern for children, parents and sports communities across Canada. The goal of this year’s Safe Kids Week was to raise awareness and provide actionable education messages to parents and caregivers through building the capacity of public health and community professionals around concussions.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury that cannot be seen on routine X-rays, CT scans or MRIs. It affects the way a person may think and remember things, and can cause a variety of symptoms. Any blow to the head, face or neck, or a blow to the body, which causes a sudden jarring of the brain inside the skull, may cause a concussion (e.g. a ball to the head in soccer or being checked into the boards in hockey).
As a child’s body grows, develops and changes, so does his/her brain. A brain injury during this stage of life may temporarily interfere with the way the brain works, and interrupt the development of critical cognitive and communication skills.
A concussion is often referred to as an “invisible injury”. Without having the proper knowledge about concussions, it is challenging to know when or how to seek treatment, how to support someone recovering from a concussion, and how to phase in return to normal levels of activity.
Visit Parachute's Resources Page for downloadable resources to use in your community. The resources include:
- Background information about concussions.
- Concussion 101 Video: a Primer for Kids and Parents by Dr Mike Evans
- How a Concussion Occurs animation
- Handouts, including a parent tip sheet: A parent’s guide to dealing with concussions.
- Guidelines for parents, educators, health professionals and coaches
- Activities to educate about the brain and to raise awareness of brain and spinal cord injuries like concussions; a tip sheet for running a Safe Kids Week event in your community; activity sheets; instructions (and a mold to purchase) for creating a “Jello Brain”.
Concussions continue to be an under-recognized and under-treated medical condition. The BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, in partnership with the Community against Preventable Injuries (Preventable) and Parachute Canada, are working together to raise awareness about concussions, especially in sports. Anyone, at any age, can suffer a concussion. This spring, the above-mentioned agencies have been working to engage British Columbians to “Have a Word with Yourself” about concussions to begin to change attitudes and raise awareness of the symptoms and severity of concussions.
The Preventable website for concussion also has prevention posters in French and English.