The Regional Municipality of Durham


News Release

Prevent concussions and other sports-related injuries this summer

WHITBY, ON June 22, 2016 - Durham Region Health Department is shining a spotlight on the risk of concussions in youth, to help parents understand more about how to prevent, recognize and manage these injuries. A concussion is a brain injury that is caused by a bump or blow to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull.

“All concussions are serious,” explained David Amot, a public health nurse with the Health Department. “Research has shown that incidents of concussions are on the rise and often occur in youth who play sports.” Statistics indicate that certain sports have been found to put individuals at higher risk for concussions including, football, rugby, hockey, soccer and boxing.

“Ten to 19-year olds are at greater risk for concussions because the teenage brain is still developing.” Mr. Amot explained. “Sometimes, youth may act without thinking about the consequences. Youth can also be easily influenced by their peers, often leading them to try things they shouldn’t be doing or are not fully capable of doing.”

Hospital statistics indicate that the rate of concussion-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations have been rising in Durham Region since 2011. These statistics also show that most concussion-related emergency department visits are sports-related.

Mr. Amot noted that youth 10 to 19-years old account for the largest proportion of concussion-related emergency department visits or hospitalizations in Durham Region, with concussions occurring more often in males.

Health care providers indicate that prevention is the key treatment for concussion-related injuries. To help reduce the risk of concussions, youth are encouraged to:

“Most people with a concussion can recover quickly and fully; however, for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks or longer,” Mr. Amot added. “Individuals who have had a concussion in the past are also at risk of having another and may take longer to recover. Repeat concussions are serious and may require the individual to alter their level of participation in a sport or stop playing the sport altogether.”

To obtain a free copy of the “Heads-up on Concussions: What parents need to know” resource, or for more information on preventing concussions, please visit durham.ca/sportsinjury, or call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729.

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Media inquiries:

Regional Municipality of Durham:
Glendene Collins - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999 or glendene.collins@durham.ca

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

For more information, please contact Health Department.