From a Parent to other Parents: Educate yourself

This last football season, 2015, I had an 8th grader and a 7th grader playing middle school football. Both playing the position of quarterback as I served as the Athletic Trainer(AT) for their team. Knowing my background in Athletic Training and working in the profession for 19+ years, I did not want any other AT on the sidelines with my kids but me. I wanted to take care of all the players and keep an eye on my own.

As a parent, you want your child to do the best they can while having fun participating. Remember it is just a game and should be fun! In October, the last play of the game, which seemed in slow motion; one athlete remained on the ground. As I approached, just like I do with every athlete that is down, it was my child that rolled over and said “Mom it hurts!” as he held his head. My 7th grader was concussed.

My heart dropped as a parent but I was still the AT that needed to start the check list of assessing a concussed athlete.

My child did have a concussion. With all my educational training it still did not make the “sinking feeling, the gut punch” or any other way you want to describe “the feeling” you have when your child becomes injured, go away. But as a family, we would not have done anything differently. We want our children to participate in whatever sport/organization/club that THEY want too and I wanted to be their health care provider on the sidelines. With all that being said, it still did not take away the worry I had for my child and I was educated in the matter. I can only imagine what it would be like if I did not know what was going on with my child and his health. The “feeling” would be out of this world! So for those parents that don’t know the signs of a concussion or signs of any other injury for that matter, please educate yourself.

My point in sharing this story, is that injuries will happen. Ours just happened playing football, but it can happen anywhere and with any sport/activity. Educating yourself about the risks of each activity your child participates and you will be ahead of the game. It just might make that “sinking feeling” easier to manage.

Have a great time supporting your child and remember the quote “If you are in doubt set them out”!

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