As students return to school, UCLA pediatric neurologist Dr. Christopher Giza, director of the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, offers seven tips to help parents protect their children from athletic concussions and other brain injuries.
1. Check that your child’s protective sports gear is properly fitted and in good repair.
2. Educate yourself about the common signs of concussion. Make sure your child’s teachers can recognize the symptoms, too.
3. Ask whether your child’s school and team have a concussion policy, including education and assessment for student athletes.
4. Make sure your child’s coach is knowledgeable about concussions and incorporates this understanding into safe practice and competition.
5. Investigate the experience of officials and referees who monitor your child’s sport and team to ensure rules are enforced.
6. Find out whether your child’s school and team keep a certified athletic trainer on staff.
Remember, emphasized Giza, a coach is your child’s sports instructor. Parents should vet their child’s coach the same way they screen their child’s other teachers.