While images of concussion-causing football hits are replayed over and over on TV — a University of Iowa doctor says head injuries in kids are not limited to those who block and tackle. Doctor George Phillips says concussions can come from some common activities. He says for younger kids, bike injuries are a problem and wearing a bike helmet is important.
Phillips says wrestling and football are the top sports for head injuries among youth. Phillips says parents shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security just because their child isn’t hitting the gridiron. Phillips says his practice sees a lot athletes from all different sports from soccer to ice hockey to gymnastics. He says you have to be aware of the problems of concussions and their risk for all athletes.
Phillips says coaching and equipment are a key in preventing concussions. Phillips says, “It’s really important to understand the details of each individual sport and what the types of safety mechanisms are that you can use, and really for athletes to learn the proper technique. So for a parent you probably want to be aware of how experienced your coach is in teaching those proper techniques.”
Phillips says parents and coaches need to be cautious with kids when it comes to any injury. He says it’s better to be out of one practice or one game, or a week or so of the season, than to have an injury that becomes a season long or longer type of injury. Phillips says if you have any concerns you should take the athlete to their primary physician or a specialist to get them checked out. Phillips is a pediatrician at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and one of his research specialties is sports injuries.