All Articles by Brooke de Lench

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.

Study Linking Tackle Football Before Age 12 With Greater Risk Of Later Health Problems: Does It Hold Up Under Scrutiny?

A study by researchers at Boston University finding that athletes who were less than 12 years old at the time of their first exposure to tackle football had more behavioral and cognitive problems later in life than those whose age of first exposure to the sport was later has, predictably, garnered a great deal of attention from the mainstream media. In the interest of balanced and objective reporting, we asked a number of researchers and clinicians to review and comment on the study. Here's what they told us.

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.

Experts Weigh in on Preventing Exertional Heat Stroke at the Boston Marathon

Marathon weather conditions can be unpredictable, from snow squalls to extreme heat, which may lead to increased risks of life-threatening medical emergencies, including exertional heat stroke (EHS). Monitoring for early signs of an injury is critical. It's also extremely helpful to know an individual's medical history, as athletes with a history of heat illness may be more susceptible to a repeat heat illness experience.

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.

MomsTEAM Institute's Screening Of Sony Pictures' Concussion Movie Ends Year On High Note, But More Work To Be Done

On December 21, 2015, MomsTeam Institute of Youth Sports Safety held a special advance screening of Sony Pictures's new movie, Concussion, starring Will Smith, at the Loews - Boston Common theatre. The screening capped off an incredible fifteen months for the Institute.