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Team of Experts

Talking With A Child After a Poor Game or Performance

Shari Kuchenbecker, Ph.D., provides tips on how parents can  talk to a young athlete after he has performed poorly in a game or competition, and the importance of consoling the child, rather than putting him down.

Approaching Youth Sports Coaches When Parents Share Common Concerns

Child psychologist Shari Kuchenbecker, Ph.D., says that, in most circumstances, a parent's best course of action if she has a concern with her child's coach is to empower the young athlete to speak to the coach herself. When a number of parents on a team find that they share a common concern, however, it may be time to request that the coach hold a team meeting for players and parents. It is important that parents inform the coach in advance of the meeting of the general area of concern and that they emphasize that the goal is to find a positive solution that is best for all the children.

Preventing Concussions in Sports

Some concussions in sports such as football, soccer, ice hockey, track and field, swimming, diving, cheerleading, spirit and cheer can be prevented

Concussion Bill of Rights #12: National Sports Bodies and Pro Leagues Take Concussions Seriously

Because children follow and take their cue from the examples set by their heroes in the pros and high amateur ranks, the national sports governing bodies and professional leagues need to set the right example for the parents and children of this country by showing that they take concussions seriously. Until they do, parents are going to be fighting an uphill battle in convincing their young warriors to treat concussions the same way. The twelfth and final right of parents under the Parent's Concussion Bill of Rights is the right to expect that concussion safety programs be implemented or expanded at the highest levels of sport.

Concussion Bill of Rights #11: Pre-Participation Evaluations For All Youth Athletes

Because many athletes are unaware that they have suffered concussions in the past, and because the taking of a detailed concussion history may pre-identify athletes who require additional management and the opportunity for physicians to educate athletes about the significance of concussion injuries, the eleventh right of parents under the Parent's Concussion Bill of Rights is the right to expect that their child's sports progam will have athletes undergo a pre-participation evaluation (PPE) before each season which includes the taking of a detailed concussion history.

Game Officials Should Have Power To Order Sideline Evaluation of Concussion

Game officials are often in the best position to detect the subtle signs of concussions in athletes during a game but are not often given the power to order a sideline evaluation and assessment of concussion and few have received concussion education.

Concussion Bill of Rights #9: Coaches and Officials with Safety Training/Certification

The ninth right of parents under the Parent's Concussion Bill of Rights is the right to expect that their child's coach and the officials working games have been trained in basic safety and emergency procedures. Laws should be enacted in every state modeled on "Will's Bill," the 2007 Texas law named after Will Benson, the 17-year old Texas football player who died after collapsing during a game, requiring that every high school coach and official receive such training.

Concussion Bill of Rights #8: Paramedics Present At All Football Games

Delay in treatment of a brain injury suffered by a player in a football game can be critical. The eighth right of parents under the Parent's Concussion Bill of Rights is therefore the right to expect that an ambulance and paramedics are present at all high school football games, and, if they are not, procedures are in place on how to activate the school's emergency medical plan by calling 911.

Concussion Bill of Rights #7: A Safe Helmet for Every Child

Most football helmets currently in use do little if anything to protect brains from the forces that cause concussions, a fact that most parents and athletes don't know. An estimated half of all football helmets in use at the high school level have either been improperly reconditioned, have foam padding that has degraded over time, or fit poorly. Only about one in five helmets is new. Technological advances in helmet design, while they are not going to make concussions in football a thing of the past, hold out at least the promise of being able to significantly reduce the number of concussions. The seventh right of parents under the Parent's Concussion Bill of Rights is the right to know that the helmet their child is using is safe.

Concussion Bill of Rights #6: Information to Parents on Follow-Up Care and Written Consent Before Return to Play

Too often, parents are in the dark about the important role they play in their child's recovery from concussion and the all-important decision on when it is safe for their child to return to the playing field. The sixth right of parents under the Parent's Concussion Bill of Rights is therefore the right to receive written notice of injuries suffered by their child and to provide written consent before their child is allowed to return to play.

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