Editorial: Concussion discussion

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Editorial board members:

• Matt Beckett

— Community representative

• Brad King

— Community representative

• Allan Reishus

— Community representative

• Bryce Jacobson

— Newspaper representative

• Jerry Martin

— Newspaper representative

Our View

With increased awareness of head injuries in professional and collegiate sports, coaches and parents of athletes at the high school level and younger are dealing with the same issue. Moffat County is lucky to have several great resources available to help residents with all aspects of pre- and post-concussion care.

Injuries are a big part of sports. The ability to stay healthy not only affects an individual’s ability to perform, it can affect an entire team’s.

No type of injury has grabbed public attention in recent years more than concussions. It’s not surprising when you consider the high-profile way in which the effects of concussions have presented themselves in the lives of current and former athletes.

And while it’s normal to associate concussion-related problems with the playing fields and ice rinks of professional and college sports, concussions can be especially damaging to young athletes who are still developing.

It’s important to note that anyone could suffer a concussion and it would be irresponsible for us to imply that only athletes should worry about their effects. However sports put those who participate at an added risk for head injury — as does any other activity that involves speed and the potential for contact.

When you combine that added risk with children and teenage athletes, the result is a potentially dangerous situation. The editorial board urges everyone — especially parents and coaches — to be aware of anyone who may have potentially suffered head trauma.

As for what to do next, Moffat County has some great resources available for its residents. Everything from pretesting — which establishes a baseline for a person’s normal brain activity is — to treatment immediately following a head injury to administering verbal and cognitive tests when recovering from a concussion, affordable help can be found right here from people like Dr. Kristie Yarmer at The Memorial Hospital or Jeff Pleasant at Rehabilitation Services of Craig, just to name a couple.

There also are great educational resources available on what signs to look for when a potential head trauma has occurred and what a non-health care professional can do to help, including Wendy Nadolny of the Moffat County School District, among others.

The editorial board wants to thank all of the professionals who provide these great resources. We hope the people who coach our youths take advantage of these them, whether they lead a varsity sport at Moffat County High School or a t-ball team for Parks and Rec.

It’s a pretty common belief that sports and other physical activities provide a great benefit for children. We just don’t want our young ones to pay for that benefit with their mental wellbeing.

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