Healthy Living in the North

Safe Kids Week 2013

Bike riding with helmets

Get out there, have fun and play hard! Safe Kids Week is a good time to remember to know the risks, wear the gear and play safe – all the time!

I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing when many people hear the term ‘injury prevention,’ they think boring, rules, gear, barriers to fun, walk don’t run – all sorts of connotations that don’t have anything to do with getting out there, having fun, and playing hard! The reality is, the main focus in preventing injuries isn’t about more rules, more legislation, more barriers to fun or anything like that…for now, it’s about more awareness. Don’t get me wrong, we have rules and regulations for a reason, and they are an important piece of the puzzle in helping us prevent certain types of injuries. But you can’t prevent much of anything if you don’t know there’s a risk of it happening in the first place, which brings us back to awareness.

That’s one of the reasons why the theme for this year’s Safe Kids Week is “Heads Up! Be Alert. Be Safe. Be Aware of Concussions.” Thanks to the media focusing on big names like Sidney Crosby, it seems like everyone knows he’s at risk for concussions. But how many people think that an 11-year-old soccer player is at risk too? The key things to think about during this year’s Safe Kids Week, which runs from May 27-June 2, are these:

  • Concussions can happen to anyone.
  • Concussions are often underdiagnosed and under-treated because the symptoms can be hard to recognize.
  • Concussions can have long-term effects.
  • Good concussion management (including both physical and emotional rest) decreases the risk of permanent brain damage.

So, in the words of,

Before you think only pro-athletes get concussions, have a word with yourself.

And in the words of me, get out there, have more fun, play hard…just know the risks, wear the gear and play safe so you can do it again next time!

For more information and resources about concussion awareness and prevention, visit the Safe Kids Canada webpage or preventable’s concussion campaign webpage.

Local contact information and more resources or ideas on how to promote injury prevention in your community can be found on the NH Injury Prevention webpage.

Lynette Hewitt

About Lynette Hewitt

Lynette Hewitt works in Fort St. John as an Injury Prevention Coordinator for Northern Health. After receiving a BScN from UNBC, Lynette traveled a bit, then returned to her hometown of Fort St. John where she worked in med/surg, public health nursing, and home nursing care before settling into her current role. When not at work, she is trying to keep up with life as a busy wife and mom, which may or may not include time for snowshoeing, hiking, biking, camping, fishing, geocaching and, for a few short months, gardening!