Concussions in youth sports subject of forum
Gary McEwen, PT, Grangeville Physical Therapy, will be the featured speaker at a public forum, “Heads Up:  Concussions in Youth Sports” on Thursday, August 12, at 5:30 p.m. in the Grangeville High School Library.  The presentation is designed for coaches, student athletes, parents and any interested community member.  
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a concussion is an injury to the brain caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body.  Signs and symptoms of a concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear or be noticed until days after the injury.  A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long term problems.
“The CDC has developed a training program and a variety of materials which I’ll be using to help coaches, parents and athletes become more educated about this potentially serious health hazard,” said McEwen.  “The health care providers at St. Mary’s want to reduce the number of injuries, educate people involved with student athletes to help them recognize the signs and symptoms of an injury and teach them the proper protocols when a concussion is suspected.  We also want students to attend the forum so they will know what to look for and what to do afterwards.”
Signs and symptoms include headache, vision disturbance, dizziness, loss of balance, confusion, memory loss, ringing in the ears, difficulty concentrating, ringing in the ears, nausea, feeling foggy or groggy, sensitivity to light or noise. Any one symptom can indicate a possible concussion.
Kids and sometimes even coaches or parents feel the athlete should ‘shake it off’ and continue playing, but a player returning to the game or practice too early could suffer a repeat concussion that can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long term problems, said McEwen.  
The CDC recommends limiting activities while recovering from a concussion.  Things such as studying, driving, working on a computer, playing video games or exercising may cause concussion symptoms to reappear or get worse.  Total rest is advised.
McEwen will present information on the physiology of a concussion, signs and symptoms; proper follow up procedures; prevention and other topics.  Handouts and wallet cards will be available.  
The forum is free and open to the public.  It is sponsored by Grangeville Physical Therapy, St Mary’s Hospital and the SMH Grangeville Medical Clinic.  For more information call Grangeville PT, 983-2241.

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