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News Release

Health Department reminds parents and youth the importance of preventing concussions as winter sports begin

WHITBY, ON September 18, 2017 - Durham Region Health Department is reminding parents and youth of the importance of preventing concussions during activities such as winter sports. Winter sports are a great way to keep young people physically active during the colder months, but the risk of concussions can be an important concern when playing any sport.

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 Yemisi Aladesua, a public health nurse with the Health Department. “Research shows that concussions are on the rise and often occur in youth who play sports.” Certain sports have been found to put individuals at higher risk for concussions including, hockey, football, rugby and soccer.

Hospital statistics indicate that the rate of concussion-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations have been on the increase in Durham Region since 2011, with youth 10 to 19-years old, most often males, accounting for the largest portion of concussion injuries. “Ten to 19-year olds are at greater risk for concussions because the teenage brain is still developing,” said Ms. Aladesua. “The parts of the brain responsible for judgement, self-control, emotions and organization are not fully developed until age 25 and concussion-related injuries could impact a young person’s brain development.” Prevention is the key treatment for concussion-related injuries. To help reduce the risk of concussions, youth are encouraged to:

  • Play fair and show respect for other players.
  • Play within the rules of the sport and within their ability.
  • Wear the right protective gear, ensuring proper fit and keeping gear well maintained.
  • Make sure there is nothing that can cause a trip in the area where the sport is being played.
  • Follow your sport organization’s concussion policy.

“Most people with a concussion can recover quickly and fully; however, for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks or longer,” Ms. Aladesua 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.”

For more information on preventing concussions, please visit, 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,

If you require information in an accessible format, please contact 1-800-841-2729.

For more information, please contact Health Department.