Pathways to Wellness

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Protecting the brain

Sidney Crosby’s concussion and lengthy recovery has put a spotlight on brain injuries, and the long term – sometimes lifelong – impact a serious blow to the head can have. 

A brain has the consistency of butter that’s been left on the counter.  A sudden movement or jolt to the head can cause the brain to hit the skull with great force, causing swelling and injury.  This is what happens in a concussion.

Dr. Mike Evans, a Canadian doctor living in Toronto, has put together a primer on concussions.   In under 6 minutes, you and your kids can learn the basics about concussions, and what to do if either of you gets a knock on the head.


And here is a 2-page summary of guidelines for sports-related concussions for parents that includes symptoms and information about what to do if you suspect your child has suffered a concussion.

Helmets can help protect the brain against certain types of injuries because they absorb and  distribute the impact  over a larger area.  Helmets should be worn by people of all ages when they are biking, snowmobiling, downhill skiing, horseback riding, playing hockey, skateboarding, sledding and riding an ATV. 

As an adult you play three very important roles when it comes to reducing head injuries in children and adolescents:

  1. Be a role model – wear a helmet
  2. Buy helmets and other  protective gear for a child or teen in your life
  3. Make sure the gear is worn properly and every time

Watch this 1-minute video by Safe Kids Canada to learn how to fit helmets and be a good role model.