New York Presbyterian

FALL 2014

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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2 3 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m FA L L 2 014 S P I R I T O F W O M E N F A M I L Y L I F E SHUTTERSTOCK W ith concussions and other kids' sports injuries in the news these days, sometimes it may seem easier to just keep your child safely at home on the couch next to you. But there are many precautions you can take to help ensure that your son or daughter doesn't end up in the ER, say experts. "A lot of injuries can be prevented with just some common sense," says Dr. Matthew Bridgman, a clinical neuropsychologist with Penn Highlands Healthcare, DuBois, Pa. 1. Buy proper equipment and check it periodically. Concussions most commonly occur from bicycling, football, basketball and soccer, with football and girls' soccer scoring the highest number of incidents last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If your child participates in one of those sports, it's especially important to find a helmet that fits correctly, says Dr. Bridgman. "If there is some new technology aspect to the helmet, like it is padded with air, make sure it is checked peri- odically to make sure it's filled and functioning properly," he says. And all helmets should be inspected routinely to make sure they still fit throughout the season. New, more effective helmets and mouthguards are always in the news, but beware the hype, cautions Dr. Melissa Knudson, who specializes in internal medicine and pediatrics at Riverview Medical Center, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. "Research a lot before talking to coaches and trainers, because a lot of these new products don't seem to be making a difference," she says. "So often there is nothing that we're missing by not buying the higher-end items." WAYS 4 to reduce your child's risk of sports injuries by Stephanie Thompson (continued on page 24)

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