Home » Blogs » Brooke De Lench

Brooke de Lench's blog

Creating A Culture Of Concussion Safety Requires Teamwork All Season Long, Not Just One Day

 

If your child plays a contact or collision sport, whether at the youth, middle school or high school level, chances are they will suffer a concussion at some point in their athletic career. How quickly they recover may depend on how soon after injury - if at all - their concussion is identified so they can be removed from practice or game action. The problem is that concussion signs - still the best way to identify a concussion - are difficult to spot, and athletes often hide their symptoms.

One way to improve the chances that an athlete's brain injury is identified is for teams to employ a "buddy" system in which team members are assigned to watch for signs of concussion in designated teammates and, if they spot signs, or if their teammates tell them they are experiencing symptoms, are encouraged or required to immediately report the possible injury to the athletic trainer or the coach.

Letting Kids Play Football is Not Child Abuse


The last three weeks have witnessed an all-out assault on the game of football, not coincidentally timed with the beginning of NFL training camps. First came a study reporting CTE in 110 of 111 brains of former NFL players. Following closely on the heels of that media circus was the publication last week of a new book by Dr. Bennet Omalu, Truth Doesn't Have a Side, and interviews in which Dr. Omalu, as he has for several years, argues that letting kids play football is the "definition" of child abuse. The not-so-surprising result has been a tsunami of emails in my Inbox asking for my views on the subject.

Are parents committing child abuse simply by allowing their kids to play a collision sport like football before middle school? Not unless it rises to the level of a callous and wanton disregard for a child's safety (e.g. reckless endangerment).

CTE: Is The Media Scaring Young Athletes To Death?

As someone who has been educating sports parents about head trauma in sports for the past seventeen years, and about the very real risk posed by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) for the last decade, it is not surprising that I receive emails from parents all the time expressing deep concern about stories in the media that have led them - wrongly - to fear that playing contact or collision sports, or suffering a sports-related concussion, especially one slow to heal, makes it inevitable that their child will develop CTE and is at greatly increased risk of committing suicide.

As someone who has been educating sports parents about head trauma in sports for the past seventeen years, and about the very real risk posed by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) for the last decade, it is not surprising that I receive emails from parents all the time expressing deep concern about stories in the media that have led them - wrongly - to fear that playing contact or collision sports, or suffering a sports-related concussion, especially one slow to heal, makes it inevitable that their child will develop CTE and is at greatly increased risk of committing suicide.

17th Annual Mother's Day Wish List

It's Mothers Day once again. Time for spring sports, warmer weather, longer days, planting gardens, and, of course, watching kids play sports. Each year for the past seventeen years, MomsTEAM has published my Mother's Day Wish list. As you will see, many of the wishes on this year's list will look very familiar to long-time visitors. 

Every year for the past 17 years, MomsTEAM Founder Brooke de Lench has issued a Mother's Day wish list. Here's this year's list.

Fighting The "Trump Effect" In Youth Sports

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 18, 2016 ON HUFFINGTON POST. 

 

The media has been reporting extensively on what the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance project has dubbed the "Trump Effect": the fear and anxiety which the President-elect's campaign rhetoric - and his policy pronouncements, especially regarding immigrants and Muslims - appears to be engendering among Latino, Hispanic, African-American, and Muslim children, immigrant children, and children of immigrants, and the bullying, intimidation, slurs, and threats which appear to be increasingly directed at them.

The media has been reporting extensively on what the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance project has dubbed the "Trump Effect": the fear and anxiety which the President-elect's campaign rhetoric - and his policy pronouncements, especially regarding immigrants and Muslims - appears to be engendering among Latino, Hispanic, African-American, and Muslim children, immigrant children, and children of immigrants, and the bullying, intimidation, slurs, and threats which appear to be increasingly directed at them. Sadly, the Trump Effect also seems to be playing out in my domain of youth sports.

"Back in the Game": A Concussion Book That Stands Out In a Crowded Field

 

Back in the Game book cover

While the pile of concussion books in my office continues to grow taller, seemingly with every passing day, one that will stay at the top of the very short pile of my favorites is Back in the Game: Why Concussion Doesn't Have To End Your Athletic Career (Oxford University Press, New York 2016) by sports neurologist Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., and award-winning sports journalist Joanne Gerstner.

While the pile of concussion books in my office continues to grow taller, seemingly with every passing day, one that will stay at the top of the very short pile of my favorites is Back in the Game: Why Concussion Doesn't Have To End Your Athletic Career (Oxford University Press, New York 2016) by sports neurologist Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., and award-winning sports journalist Joanne Gerstner.

Why I'm Not a Football Apologist or Anti-Football Zealot: I'm a Pro-Safety Realist


As I await tonight's advance screening in Boston of Sony Pictures' movie, Concussion, which opens nationwide on Christmas Day, the polarized debate over football has once again reached a fever pitch.

In contrast to recent battles in the now 110-year war over football MomsTEAM Institute of Youth Sports Safety, the non-profit I have headed for the last fifteen years, is not merely an interested spectator this time around.

That's because Sony Pictures chose the Institute as its partner in its Dance or Donate #ForThePlayers social media campaign; an initiative designed not just to publicize the movie but to promote our 15-year effort to make youth football and all sports safer (which is why the Institute is hosting the Boston screening)

With the Boston advance screening of Concussion tonight and the nationwide release just three days away, MomsTEAM's Executive Director explains why she's not a football apologist, CTE denier, or anti-football zealot but is, and always has been, a pro-safety pragmatist.

Pediatrics Group's Position on Tackling in Youth Football Strikes Right Balance

Last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) endorsed efforts to limit contact practices in youth football, but declined to make a clear recommendation in favor of delaying the age at which tackling is introduced. The AAP likewise refused to support those calling for an outright ban on tackling in football for athletes below age 18, unwilling to recommend at this time such a fundamental change in the way the game is played.

As someone who has been working for 15 years to make youth football safer, MomsTEAM's Executive Director was glad to see the nation's largest and most prestigious pediatrics group support so many of the evidence- and expert consensus-based recommendations MomsTEAM has been making to improve the safety of the game.

U.S. Failure To Ratify UN Convention on Rights of the Child Is Embarrassing and Unacceptable

ORIGINALLY POSTED IN HUFFINGTON POST 10/9/15 

A longtime advocate for ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United States working to implement the 2014 International Safeguards for Children in Sport, says that the country's failure to ratify the Convention is embarrassing and unacceptable.

Texas Youth Football and Cheer Program: Ten Ways It Is Walking The Talk On Safety

Participation in youth sports in general, and in youth football in particular, is on the decline in some parts of the nation.  One of the biggest factors driving the decline is a concern about injuries. 

Lots of youth sports programs say they want to improve safety, but how many are actually making the effort to implement best health and safety practices?

Lots of youth sports programs say they want to improve safety, but how many are actually making the effort to implement best health and safety practices? I can't speak for every program, but I know one that is definitely walking the talk: the youth tackle and flag football and cheer program in Grand Prairie, Texas, where I spent the first week of August educating and training kids, parents, coaches, and administrators on ways to make football safer as part of MomsTEAM Institute's SmartTeams| UNICEF International Safeguards of Children in Sports project.
Syndicate content