Brain Injury Prevention in Team Sports in Canada
TORONTO, April 28, 2012 /CNW/ - ThinkFirst Pensez d'Abord Canada hosts a free lecture and workshop with keynote speaker Matt Dunigan. "ThinkFirst Canada is honored to have Matt Dunigan speaking up for child and youth health in team sport. Canada can and must do a better job at protecting our greatest resource, our children, by reducing the burden of head and brain injuries like concussion" said Rebecca Nesdale-Tucker, Executive Director and CEO, ThinkFirst-Pensez d'Abord Canada.
Matt Dunigan is a sports concussion survivor and is emerging as an active injury prevention advocate, encouraging the need for concussion awareness. "The more we can educate ourselves in all aspects relating to concussions, including recognition, awareness, prevention and the proper protocols for back to play the better all sport will be. Parents, coaches, officials and society in general must take action in becoming more involved in dealing with concussions in sport" said Dunigan "Coaches and parents must be educated so they can appropriately intervene and protect the kids from themselves. The kids' innately are under tremendous pressures to produce and win in today's sporting world and often times can and will be their own worst enemy, their health and safety must come first."
Trauma and head injuries are at epidemic levels. In Canada, injury is the leading cause of death and a major cause of hospitalization for children and youth. That's why ThinkFirst Canada exists and why the charity's VIPs are important. Injury kills an average of 290 Canadian children age 14 and under each year. It's estimated that 21,000 children are hospitalized for injury each year, or approximately one in every 300 children.
Sport is a valuable public asset in our communities. It can produce many benefits for those who participate and the communities that support them. ThinkFirst, together with champions like Dunigan, aims to reduce the rate and severity of concussions and head injuries in child and youth team sports by reducing the incidence of head injury events and improving return to play decision making. The impact of severe injury on children is often life-long. Head injuries can account for substantial changes in learning ability, including delayed cognitive development in children and behavioural challenges. This can inhibit their ability to play and limit future opportunities.
"Despite their ability to positively influence the health and well-being of Canadians, sports activities contribute to a significant number of injuries among children and youth, yet many of those injuries are predictable and preventable" said Rebecca Nesdale-Tucker. "For important safety information, visit thinkfirst.ca before you play and before you return to play too,"
Information from this Tator-ThinkFirst Canada lecture and associated workshop by presenters Dr. Shelina Babul and Dr. Alison Macpherson on Who is at Risk? ..What can we do to prevent and reduce injuries? and from Dr. Paul Dennis on Peer Influence and Respect will also be made available online at www.thinkfirst.ca.
ThinkFirst Pensez d'Abord Canada is a national non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of brain and spinal cord injuries. ThinkFirst has been advocating for heightening public awareness through education since its inception in 1992. ThinkFirst has Chapters in every province across the country that spread the ThinkFirst injury prevention message. ThinkFirst teaches school-aged children and youth, sports teams, and community volunteers, to safely participate in the activities they enjoy.
ThinkFirst's message is promoted through advocacy for healthy policies, as well as participation in a number of coalitions that raise injury prevention awareness in communities across the country. ThinkFirst is committed to providing up-to-date research on the causes of injury and the effectiveness of injury prevention programs to ensure the information provided is both timely and relevant. Building on its extensive community- and medical- based networks; ThinkFirst will contribute to creating awareness as well as developing community capacity building resources that will educate children, youth, parents and medical practitioners about brain injury and concussion prevention and treatment.
ThinkFirst Canada Chapters can be found in cities representing every Canadian province:
- Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Waterloo, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Moncton, Fredericton, St John's, and Charlottetown.
For further information:
Media contacts: April 28, 2012
National Program Coordinator
ThinkFirst Pensez d'Abord Canada
Mobile - 416-407-6557
To learn more and to donate please contact ThinkFirst Pensez d'Abord Canada
ThinkFirst Canada - Pensez d'Abord Canada
750 Dundas Street West, Suite 3-314
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M6J 3S