Every year around 72 children are injured in school zones by motorized vehicles in B.C., and the city of Vancouver has finally said “enough”.  City bylaws will soon be in place to ensure the speed limit in school and playground zones never exceed 30 kilometers per hour at any point in time. Currently, the 30 kilometers per hour law is only in effect from 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

This move has been praised by many including the VPD, Vancouver Coastal Health, and ICBC, yet some are not convinced. When questioned about implementing this rule elsewhere, the Mayor of Burnaby was quoted saying, “It is being looked at, but I can’t say where it’ll finish up, at this time.” The Mayer of Coquitlam went as far as to say, “The after-hour realities of a school zone don’t, at least anecdotally to me, don’t appear to be our issue.”

Looking at this issue ourselves, we took to social media to see how the public feels regarding posts made about these new regulations. It became very evident just how polarizing this implementation was. Many in the Twitter community lauded the ambition but said that enforcement was needed to back it up. Others simply laughed it off as a “useless initiative.”

The question remains then if changing the speed limit is not the answer, how do we ensure the safety of our children in these dangerous areas of the city? Are you for or against this new change?

Check out our Instagram post to share your thoughts on this matter!

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You’re in the stands cheering on your kid as he or she is playing their favourite sport, when suddenly, they take a hard hit to the head. You panic, rush to the sidelines, and make sure they are alright.

Checking for signs of a possible concussion, you and the coach agree to remove your child from the game and you head straight to the doctor.

Well done! The first step is to always take a significant hit to the head seriously. Here are some of the symptoms to watch for:

Most symptoms show up within minutes or hours, but others may take longer to appear. Getting to the hospital is always the right thing to do.

But what happens after the doctor confirms a concussion? What does the road to recovery look like and what should you do as a parent?

While each concussion is different, medical experts pinpoint early detection and brain rest as the first steps to helping concussed kids recover more completely. At their young ages, the brain is still developing and improper diagnosis, treatment, or too quick of a return to normal activity may lead to long-term problems.

Pediatric neurologists say that at minimum, two or three days of rest can help with such blows to the brain. That doesn’t just mean no sports or running around, but also no electronic devices, school work, video games, and anything else that can challenge or stress the brain.

A hard hit needs to be taken seriously. In Canada, 39% of all kids between 10 and 18 who visited an emergency facility following a sports-related head injuries were diagnosed with a concussion, while another 24% showed signs of possible concussion. Three sports in particular – football, soccer, and hockey – show a greater increase in reported head injuries in the decade between 2004 and 2014. Of course, sports are not the only cause of a concussion: falls, car crashes, and other whacks to the head can also cause a concussion. But no matter the cause of the injury, your focus needs to be on treatment and recovery.

There’s good news, though! Medical researchers in Nebraska found that 80 to 90% of sport concussions resolve in two to three weeks. This is if the child has been treated and follows medical advice. Doing so can also help prevent more serious brain injuries at a time when the child is vulnerable to other jolts to the head. If the problem persists beyond that point, another trip to the doctor is in order.

Catching a concussion early, preventing further activity, and seeking immediate medical attention are all helpful steps to healthy attitudes and healthy kids.

https://youtu.be/9s9TGc2DTPg

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All it takes is one blow to the head and your life can be changed forever. Concussions are becoming all too common, especially among young people. And new research is showing that the consequences of just one concussion can have long-term effects on your mental, intellectual, and physical abilities.

Scientists from universities in the US, the UK, and Sweden collaborated on the study. Looking at a set of Swedish people who had suffered a head injury before age 25, they made some startling discoveries.

The first finding is economic in nature. Those who had experienced just one concussion or mild traumatic brain injury in their youth were much more likely to be receiving disability payments as an adult. They were also less likely to have finished high school or to have moved on to higher education or training.

The group also experienced more health problems. They were more likely to seek help for mental health issues, they suffered more lingering physical problems, and were more likely to die early in life. The situation was worse for a concussion after the age of 15 – an important time in human development when the brain is still growing.

That’s also an age when a lot of kids are heavily involved in sports with a higher risk of head injury, such as hockey, soccer, rugby, and football. All the more reason to make sure your kids are playing safe and wearing protective gear. And if they do get hurt, it’s why you should pull them out of play. Their future health and success is far more important than a high school trophy.

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A new sport season is about to kick off and that means all sorts of active fun. But are your kids playing it safe? If they do get hurt, do you know how to identify a concussion? And do you know what to do? These are questions every parent should be asking themselves whenever their child begins a sport.

A fall, a bump, a knock, or blow to the body can happen in almost any sport. But if the force from that hit affects your head, it can injure your brain and leave you with a concussion.

Kids are more susceptible to suffering a concussion because their bodies haven’t fully developed. They’re smaller, have weaker muscles, and thinner skulls than adults. They’re also more active, rambunctious, and not fully aware of the risks.

While we hear a lot about concussions in contact sports like football and hockey, it doesn’t mean those are the only ones. Young athletes can also get concussed taking part in all sorts of sports activities – soccer, skiing, field hockey, and cycling.

If your child has taken hit to the head, you need to know what to watch for. Common concussion symptoms include:

If any of these symptoms are present and you think your kid has suffered a concussion, take immediate action. The first step is an immediate stop to all play. No sporting moment, big or small, is worth risking your child’s health. After that, seek medical help. That means a trip to the emergency room or the family doctor for a proper assessment. Once they’re home, keep them hydrated, rested, and off the field of play. Recovering from a concussion is a serious matter and it takes time.

If left untreated, a concussion can lead to bigger problems down the road – including permanent brain injury and even death. And no game or trophy is worth risking that.

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Halloween is an exciting time for children. With the distraction of candy and costumes children can easily forget safety tips. Here are some simple tips to keep Halloween a safe night for everyone.

Motorists

Parents

The impact of missed childhood sports concussions can be devastating. Parents familiar with concussion symptoms help their child play sports in the safest way possible.

“It’s critical to be aware of the prevention and treatment of concussions, which are brain injuries that occur when the head is struck or suddenly jarred,” according to a recent Chicago Tribune article.

Tips to Avoid Childhood Concussions

  1. Form strong relationships with coaches. Parents should confirm coaches and trainers are keenly aware of concussion symptoms and treatment. Coaches should also know the guidelines for children returning to sports after suffering a head injury.
  1. Children should wear protective gear relevant to their sport. Optimal safety gear is the correct size and fits well. Parents should ensure their child’s protective gear is approved by the organization that governs their sport. For example, the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC) approves face masks and helmets.
  1. Ask coaches if they perform pre-season tests to establish baseline neurological data. The pre-season information helps determine how severe concussions are.

Should you enroll your kids in contact sports?

It’s a question more and more parents are struggling to answer.

Not surprising, given the vast body of research highlighting the dangers of concussions and head injuries in youth sports.

While our national hockey teams have proven their dominance at the international level, recent surveys have found that youth hockey participation is actually down in Canada.

New-found mobility, high energy, and a lack of awareness for their surroundings make toddlers prime candidates for head injuries.

The good news is that most bumps and bruises are of little concern. But it’s important to monitor a young child closely after a hit to the head. Dr. Sarnaik, a critical care doctor from Michigan’s Children’s Hospital, says a young child should be seen by a doctor if any of the following symptoms are present:

Dr. Sarnaik also says that medical attention is necessary if a child has been involved in a serious accident like a car crash, a high-speed impact, or a fall from more than standing height, regardless of symptoms.

BabyCenter’s medical team advises parents or caregivers to call 911 right away if the child is experiencing:

They also caution parents and caregivers not to move a seriously injured child unless they are in danger of being hurt further. Perform CPR if they aren’t breathing. Cover any open wounds with a clean cloth and apply pressure.

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Did you know…

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists 5 steps to follow in order to protect kids from the sun’s harmful UV rays:

  1. Seek shade. Plant yourselves under a tree, umbrella, or a pop-up tent.
    Be most careful at midday when the sun’s rays are strongest. Consider a lunch break indoors.
  2. Cover up. Clothing is a great way to protect your kids’ skin. Look for long-sleeved swimwear with built in UV ray protection. Or any loose, light-coloured clothing with a tight knit that won’t overheat your little ones.
  3. Get a hat. Look for hats that shade the face, neck, and ears. Another helpful hint – get a hat with straps that tie under the chin to prevent your clever toddler from removing it and tossing it to the ground.
  4. Wear sunglasses. UV rays can cause cataracts. Look for sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
  5. Apply sunscreen. Apply generously 30 minutes before going outdoors and don’t forget to reapply often, especially after getting wet. Don’t forget ears, feet, and nose! A lip balm with SPF protection can be applied to the lips.

What sunscreen is best?

nwsltr_sunscreen_spot3The Canadian Dermatology Association recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher (broad spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays).

Experts say that lotion sunscreens are better than spray sunscreens. It’s not yet known what the risks are of inhaling spray sunscreens. Take particular care when applying sunscreen to little ones.

Consumer Reports says that children and pregnant women should use a sunscreen without titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These ingredients contain nanoparticles which have been linked to reproductive and developmental effects in animal studies. Pregnant women and children should also avoid sunscreens with retinol or retinyl palmitate. These ingredients, also found in some acne medication, have been associated with birth defects.

A Special Note for Babies

babies sunscreenA baby’s skin is thinner and more at risk of sunburn compared to adults. This is true even for children born to parents with dark skin. Babies should be kept out of direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 11am and 4pm. Babies six months and older should wear sunscreen on areas not covered by clothing while being careful to avoid the eyes. It’s not recommended that babies under the age of six months wear sunscreen, so it’s important to keep newborns out of the sun altogether.

Sunscreen and heatstroke

Sunscreen does not prevent heatstroke. But it does prevent sunburns, which can be a contributing cause of heatstroke. Precautions you can take to avoid heatstroke include the following:

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Every week in the US about 50 children are seriously injured by drivers failing to pay attention when backing up their vehicles. Kids and Cars reports that two children die every week from “backover accidents.” And Canada shares this tragic problem. The Globe and Mail tells a story about a Toronto father who reversed his car into his wife and eight year old son. His wife is in serious condition. His son is dead.

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), backovers kill 292 U.S. residents each year. And over a five year span from 2006-2010, backovers killed 448 children in the U.S.