All Articles by Brooke de Lench

High School Football Playoffs: Not A Time For Concussion Safety To Take Back Seat To Winning


As the 2013 high school football season enters the home stretch, with teams fighting to stay alive in the playoffs, or preparing for traditional end-of-the-season games on Thanksgiving morning, the risk of concussion is an ever-present concern. 

Football player holding his head

But now is not the time to put winning ahead of safety.

Even in the best of times, studies show that high school football players face what one recently called a ‘culture of resistance' to reporting to sideline personnel that they are experiencing concussion symptoms.

As the 2013 high school football season enters the home stretch, with teams fighting to stay alive in the playoffs, or preparing for traditional end-of-the-season games on Thanksgiving morning, the risk of concussion is an ever-present concern. But now is not the time to put winning ahead of safety.

NOCSAE Ruling On Helmet Sensors Generates Controversy

The July 2013 decision by NOCSAE that modification of helmets with third-party after-market add-ons, absent retesting and recertification as configured, renders the certification void may be necessary to protect the integrity of its helmet standard, but at the cost of depriving athletes of cutting-edge concussion safety products.

Thanksgiving For Sports Moms: Make Your Kids Part Of The Team In The Kitchen, Says Katie Workman

For many families, Thanksgiving means family, friends, food, and football, often high school football. For moms responsible for preparing the big meal after getting back from the game is can be a really tough assignment. The answer? Get your kids to become part of the team in the kitchen says Mom100 blogger Katie Workman.

Olympic Hockey Star Julie Chu: Commitment + Honor + Unity = CHU


On Monday, I was able to catch up with three-time Olympic medalist Julie Chu, member of the U.S. Women's National Ice Hockey team, who just happens to be living and training for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia in my neck of the woods outside Boston.

I decided it was a great time to ask her to reflect back on her hockey journey over the past twelve years, and to hear about how she and her team are preparing for the challenge of replacing the Canadian women atop the podium this time around.

Knowing that three-time Olympic medalist Julie Chu was training for the Winter Games Sochi, Russia just around the corner, Brooke de Lench decided it was time to catch up with the captain of the U.S. Women's National Ice Hockey team, whose career she has been following for a dozen years.

Protecting Athletes and Sports Safety Initiative Latest To Tackle Youth Sports Concussion Safety Issue

 

Last week in Washington D.C., I was privileged to have been invited to attend and participate in the kickoff event for an innovative two-year initiative called PASS (Protecting Athletes and Sports Safety).

A joint project of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine and the Department of Global Health at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, PASS is the latest in a series of national programs designed to address and combat the incidence of catastrophic brain injuries among the more than twenty million youth who participate in organized sports annually.

Brooke de Lench found the kickoff event for an innovative two-year initiative called PASS (Protecting Athletes and Sports Safety) noteworthy for the fact that research scientists on on one panel all said they would allow their kids to play football, and the panelists on another conceded that edu-tainment is not the mainstream media's strength.

New Concussion Report's Failure To Discuss Impact Monitoring Unfortunate Omission

The MomsTEAM staff and I are still digging into the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council's three-hundred-some-odd page report on sports-related concussions in youth sports,[1]  but one thing jumped out at me at my first pass: When I did a search in the report for a discussion of impact monitoring devices (a/k/a hit sensors), I found only one brief mention of sensors in the committee's recommendation that the Centers for Disease Control fund large scale data collection efforts for research purposes, including data from impact sensors.

Conspicuous by its absence from the new IOM/NRC report on concussions in youth sports was any mention of the use of real-time impact monitoring systems on the sports sideline. Unfortunately, the lack of any such discussion will just end up making it that much more difficult to get the message out that the benefits of real-time impact monitoring, and place an additional obstacle in the path to their use.

Early Sport Specialization: Does It Lead To Long-Term Problems?

Sports specialization, including year-round sport-specific training, participation on multiple teams in the same sport and focused participation in a single sport, leads to long-term problems.

Post-Concussion Syndrome: New Therapies Offer Hope, Says Mother Of Hockey Star, Caitlin Cahow

In her long road to recovery from post-concussion syndrome, two-time Olympic hockey star Caitlin Cahow had the best help a daughter could ask for, a mom who was there for her, no questions asked.  Caitlin's mom, a physician herself, shares with MomsTEAM's Brooke de Lench her perspective on new treatment therapies.

Impact Sensors: Frequently Asked Questions

The last several years have seen a growing number of companies introduce to the consumer market the first generation of impact sensors intended for real time monitoring of impacts to the heads of athletes in actual games and practices. Here are our answers to the most frequently asked questions about sensors.

Concussion Identification and Removal from Play: It's All About the "Five E's"

To minimize the risk of delayed recovery from concussion, long-term injury, or, in rare instances, catastrophic injury or death, it is critical that athletes suspected of having sustained a concussion are removed from play as early as possible.  the chances that a concussion will be identified early on the sports sideline can be maximized by following a multi-pronged approach utilizing the "Five E's."