Youth concussions ignored due to ‘fanaticism': ref
Report finds 19% of B.C. school children who believe they have had a concussion said their parents didn’t allow them to access proper medical treatment. Those in the sporting community now want to know, why not? (FOTOLIA)
Nearly one-in-five B.C. kids who thought they had a concussion felt their parents weren’t getting them proper medical help — a number that baffles most involved in sports.
The McCreary Centre Society’s adolescent health survey, released earlier this year, reported that 19% of youth who reported a concussion couldn’t get their parents to take the medical condition seriously.
According to Richmond Minor Hockey Association chief referee Dwayne Shigeoka, one reason could be “fanaticism” in parents and coaches pushing performance over safety.
“I would find it difficult to believe there would be one in five, but there are definitely parents out there that, even if their son or daughter came up to them and said they hit their head and they felt dizzy … they’d probably say, ‘Forget it, get out there and play,’” Shigeoka, who has refereed for 14 years, said Wednesday.
“If a coach or parent tried to put a kid on the ice and I felt they needed treatment I wouldn’t allow the kid back on the ice. But you have to be willing to stand up to the parent or the coach.”
Dr. David Cox, Vancouver Whitecaps team psychologist, said it was the first time this question has been asked of children in a massive survey. The 2013 poll surveyed 30,000 children in school districts across B.C.
“Even though they felt they had a concussion and they rated symptoms — some of them up to losing consciousness — not all of them sought some form of help or assistance,” Cox said.
“And one of the reasons was, as it appears, their parents didn’t think they needed it.”
McCreary executive director Annie Smith said the next step is to figure out where in each of the province’s 16 health-service delivery areas the numbers spike the most. Part of that research would try to identify if access to transportation to get to medical help is a factor.