I have always enjoyed sports and have participated in most. I probably have had my share of mild concussions with back yard football and various accidents. I grew up in the South and took the heat and humidity for granted until I moved away.
Every day I see kids that have been injured in their activities whether an organized sport, BMX, skateboard, or even just bike riding. I think what parents need to do is be aware that regular exercise is needed for growth of both mind and body. It provides a social milieu for many kids that is both structured and in some ways protected. It is important that parents, coaches, teachers and other caretakers understand their activities and how they impact our growing children. Our kids are not semi pro-athletes and many will not pursue a career in sports. Many good athletes however use their skills, self-discipline and perseverance to good use as they mature and pursue their educational and professional goals.
This time of year we are all excited about football. Whether it is high school, Pop Warner, college or pro. We root for our team and grimace with each hit and later injury. I urge all my student athletes to focus on conditioning, adequate diets, rest and hydration. Most importantly our kids must maintain their grades prior to gaining eligibility. Concussions are the biggest concern it may occur with football, soccer and in one recent case lacrosse. Neither boys nor girls are immune and they must all have adequate training and supervision by coaches and parents. In Sept and Oct I start seeing shoulder, collar-bone and knee injuries. I blew my knee out playing soccer in college. It hasn’t been the same since. I have overuse injuries from swimming both elbows and shoulder. Conditioning is better now but training is even more intense and the demands that kids put on themselves can be extreme. Last spring I saw a lot a cheer injuries. I told one young lady that her knee injury would prevent her from competing in a tournament. She said “I have to” . I asked why?. She said because “the rest of her team was hurt”. Even dance is becoming increasingly competitive as children pursue dance skills at younger and more immature ages.
One of the worst scenarios was during cross-country a few years ago when it was over 110 . The coach required that the kids run in spite of the extreme heat, however the coach would then drive by in an air-conditioned car. I guess that he was concerned about heat exposure.
PCH and Mayo have joined together to educate the community in regard to concussion. Preseason computer cognitive testing is required at the high school and college level. Parents want their child to be able to return to their sport and school. Read the article about Steven Threet former ASU quarterback and Michigan high school standout.