If you're worried about your child in sports, you have good reason. In the U.S., about 30 million children and teens participate in some form of organized sports, and there are more than 3.5 million injuries each year. That ranges from scrapes and bruises to more serious injuries. WF caught up with Jordan Fliegel, CoachUp CEO and Founder. CoachUp’s mission is to change the trajectory of kids lives through sport and keep them safe.
WF: At what age should parents be concerned with concussions on the field?
"It’s never too early to start making your children aware of injuries that could happen during activities. Concussions aren’t just an injury possibility that happens only on the field, a child could easily sustain a traumatic brain injury simply from falling off his or her bike or even awkward stumble on the playground. As for a particular age, when you are putting elbows pads and a helmet on your child for any activity, that would be a great time to start having a dialogue about safety and injury prevention, concussions included."
WF: What are the signs a parent / coach should look for in a child with regards to concussions?
"I recommend that parents and coaches stay abreast of the latest research and information made available from the CDC, which is the same advice we provide to our CoachUp coaches."
Some of the subtle signs of a concussions are when an athlete:
More severe symptoms may be present when an athlete:
WF: What can parents do to speak with their coaches about concussions?
First off, make sure to introduce yourself to your child’s coach in a friendly and open manner so that the coach will always feel comfortable coming to you with any concerns regarding your child. You and your child’s coach want your child to be both safe and successful on the field, so the two of you will already bond over that commonality. From there I recommend, in a non-confrontational manner, asking how your child’s coach typically addresses concussion awareness and education with their athletes.
As the parent of an athlete, you should also be familiar with the CDC’s guide for coaches, which can help you understand what a coach needs to know or should be doing.
WF: What can parents do before their child hits the field?
"For parents specifically, make sure your child’s medical information is always on file and up-to-date with their sports organization and school. I also recommend learning whom the trainer or medical professional is for your child’s sports team, and whether or not he or she is present during games or practice. You should always know who is in charge of medical care or whom to ask for in the event your child gets injured.
Concussion education doesn’t just stop once your child hits the field though, in fact, it needs to be reinforced especially after games and practices. Make an extra effort to celebrate when your child makes a play that has been completed with good form and technique. If you see your child making plays that are overly violent, talk to your child about it immediately after the game. If your child says that was how he was taught to play, consider following up with your child’s coach to review how you can help reinforce safe play with your child.
Good form and technique can be challenging to learn in large team practices or camps so another option that parents can explore in order to keep their child safe at practice and in competition is private coaching. Especially for sports that have high incidences of concussions, like football and soccer, it's important to ensure your child receives proper instruction from a qualified professional when it comes to skill development. The more support from a team and private coach, plus practice, the better for your child's safety, success and happiness."
Jordan Fliegel, CoachUp CEO and Founder, experienced the benefits of private coaching first hand. “CoachUp’s mission is to change the trajectory of kids lives through sport. We’re a brand that is inspirational and trustworthy. We’re here to support athletes and coaches who want to better themselves, in sports and in life. Everyone should feel supported to achieve their dreams, whether that is to finish a 5k race, make the team next season, or to become a professional player.”
You try to live a simple life. You watch what you eat, wear your seatbelt and try to see your doctor regularly. But there are several things that you may be doing that sabotage your health...
1. Wearing Fitness Clothes
Wash your exercise clothes before you wear them. According to Medscape, an increasing number of cases of allergic contact dermatitis occur due to formaldehyde resins used for textile finishes in clothing. The formaldehyde helps reduce moisture and prevent mildew growth.
2. Keeping Your Cell Phone Handy
Keep your cell phone in your purse and away from your bed. It’s true that cell phones have a weak signal of radiation, but research shows electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones can increase risk of certain cancers. Plus these waves interfere with sound sleep.
3. Taking Pain Meds
Minimize use of O-T-C painkillers. The FDA recently cited the increased risk of heart attacks and strokes with continued use of NSAID pain relievers. However, taking the normal dosage on occasion should not pose any risk.
4. Working Long Hours
Sitting at your desk for longer than six hours = not good! Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth-leading risk factor for death for people all around the world, according to the World Health Organization. With this in mind, by simply standing up each hour or taking short walks every so often, you can minimize this health risk.
5. Drying Your Clothes
Although washing your clothes is important, many people casually dry everything leaving lint to build up in the dryer. Dryer fires account for more than 17,000 fires per year. If you dry your clothes, clean the lint trap!
Is your teen starting high school in the fall or leaving home behind for the first time for a cramped college dorm? Summertime is the perfect season to stock up on supplies for the school year and slowly accumulate all those posters and cool pieces of furniture for the dorm room. But don't forget about the other important items on your list like ensuring your teen has a healthy year at school.
Teens should be getting another round of vaccinations before the school year as the thousands of people they interact with on a daily basis can leave them more vulnerable to diseases, according to the Center For Disease Control And Prevention.
The U.S. government doesn't mandate any particular vaccines for schools; rather states individually come up with their own requirements, usually based off of recommendations from the CDC.
One vaccine that will save you and your teens a lot of grief is the Influenza vaccine for the common flu. Trust us, your teens will somehow get it every year when one of their classmates inevitably gets sick and they will end up having to miss classes and make up the work. Not fun.
The Meningococcal conjugate vaccine for life-threatening bacterial meningitis is also extremely important for unvaccinated freshmen living in close quarters in college dorms, as is the PPV vaccine which protects against Pneumococcal disease - the leading cause of sickness and death that could have been prevented by vaccines.
In addition, any men and women who did not receive the three-part HPV vaccine dosage when they were younger need to get them now to protect against preventable cancers like cervical cancer. The vaccine is most effective when the recipient has time to develop an immunity to the virus before becoming sexually active. Even if you don't think your teens will be sexually active for some time, it is extremely important for them to get the vaccine now.
Even strangers in the elevator may start spewing out advice unsolicited when they see a new mom with a infant or toddler. And although friends and family may sound convincing, the advice from our pediatricians is something most followed. But maybe your pediatrician isn't on the mark!
Could your doctor be giving you bad advice?
A recent study from the Pediatrics Publications surveyed over 1,000 new moms to find out that advice from doctors, friends and families can be conflicting from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The Maternal Report of Advice Received for Infant Care showed that "although doctors were the most prevalent source of reported advice, 20% of mothers reported no doctor advice for breastfeeding or sleep position, and more than 50% reported no advice regarding sleep location or pacifier use. Reported advice from nurses was generally similar to doctors. The prevalence of any advice from family or media was 20% to 56% for nearly all care practices, and advice given was often inconsistent with recommendations."
Clearly, we hold dear what our mothers and friends are telling us in care for our children. Maybe it is that other information is more accessible.
It seems that the average doctor visit of less than 10 minutes may not be enough to get the information a new mom needs. From breast feeding to sleeping positions, it's difficult to get all the information.
Best place to check is the American Academy of Pediatrics website.
Whether you’ve overdone it in your workout or the night before at a party, many people will pop a few pills for the pain. Common over-the-counter pain relievers, called non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs known as NSAIDS are now under fire by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA issued, what it calls a drug safety communication, saying the labels must include, "the risk of heart attack or stroke can occur as early as the first weeks of using an NSAID. The risk may increase with longer use of the NSAID. The risk appears greater at higher doses."
These types of pain relievers are typically used for muscle pain, headaches, flu, and even menstrual cramps. But higher doses require a prescription. Bayer (manufacturer of Aleve) released a statement to CNN saying: "When taken as directed on the label, Aleve (naproxen sodium 220 mg) is a safe and effective pain reliever, used by millions of consumers since its introduction as an OTC product 20 years ago. Importantly, data collected for nearly 20 years indicates no signal (i.e. trend) for OTC naproxen sodium with regard to the occurrence of (cardiovascular) thrombotic and overall (cardiovascular) events."
Dr. Steven Nissen, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, says "What patients need to know is, if you take the drugs, 'What is my risk of heart attack?' and that's not known yet," His advice, "take these at the lowest dosages for the least amount of time that relieves symptoms."
The FDA advises patients who experience shortness of breath, chest pain, sudden numbness or weakness, or sudden slurred speech to seek immediate medical attention. Other side effects should be reported to the agency.