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Concussion in Ice Hockey – Prevention and Management

Concussion Prevention and Management in Hockey

Concussions are a major concern in ice hockey playoffs. Although concussions can happen to anyone, they’re prevalent in contact sports like hockey and football.

A concussion is a type of brain injury that happens when the head hits an object or is shaken back and forth.

Concussive injuries range in severity, with some people experiencing symptoms for just a few days while others recover more slowly over several weeks or months.

Regardless of how long it takes, it’s important to seek treatment if you think you’ve had a concussion. These injuries can lead to long-term problems such as headaches or memory loss if not properly managed.

Concussion prevention is key for hockey players to enjoy their sport safely! The best way to prevent a concussion is to play the sport without one in the first place.

Here are some ways to do that:

  • If you strike someone on their helmeted head, make sure it’s not at an angle where you could slip off and hit their unprotected face or neck. If it feels too risky (and no one likes being called out for being too cautious), give them time to recover before playing again.
  • Make sure any protective equipment is fitted properly—especially helmets. They should fit snugly but comfortably on top of your head while leaving enough room above your eyes so they don’t get pinched when bent forward during play (which can contribute to further injury). 

Again, don’t hesitate if something seems wrong; just take care of yourself first!

Don't hit from behind or with your head down.

The primary rule of hockey is to avoid hitting from behind or with your head down. Hit using both arms, keeping your head up and chin tucked in. Hitting from behind prevents you from seeing what you are hitting, so it’s impossible to protect yourself from injury. It also makes it more likely that your opponent will get hurt as well as a result of not being able to see what is coming at them.

Hitting with your head down poses similar problems: you can’t see what’s about to hit you, and there’s a good chance that the impact will injure the other player. 

The same goes for any situation where someone has their head down when they’re skating into another person; these types of accidents happen all too often in hockey!

Stick to the rules of the game.

Follow the rules of the game. Ensure you know how to play properly and what is allowed in each type of game you play (e.g., checking vs no checking). Also make sure that your team follows these rules as well—it’s up to each player to ensure they are playing safely and within the rules of their specific sport or activity.

Not just the game rules, there’s a set procedure for testing the protective equipment players wear.

Keep the head in the game.

  • Keep your head up
  • Watch the puck, not the player
  • Look where you are skating
  • Use your body to block passes and shots

Wear hockey protective equipment and make sure it fits properly.

Always wear proper equipment such as helmets and face shields; a must for hockey players. 

This includes a face shield, helmet, mouth guard and pads.

Make sure your helmet fits properly, snugly but comfortably so it’s not too tight or too loose.

Helmets should be replaced every three to five years, and face shields should be replaced every two years (or after any impact to the shield).

Did you know there was a time when NHL was played without helmets

If you have a concussion, see a health care provider right away.

If you have any of these symptoms, see a healthcare provider immediately:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Concentration problems and memory loss
  • Feeling sluggish or tired

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Proper Injury Management

See a health care provider right away.

Rest after injury (especially if a concussion could have caused it). It may seem like common sense but many people still don’t take this advice seriously enough which can lead directly back into another dangerous situation where they are at risk of further injury or even death! Remember: rest is key when recovering from concussions so make sure you get plenty every day until fully healed before returning back out there again!

Make sure you rest until symptoms are gone before returning to play. 

Make sure a health care provider has cleared you before playing contact sports again. If you don’t feel well enough to practice or play, it’s best not to do it—even if everyone else is doing it!

If the symptoms don’t go away after two weeks, encourage your doctor to refer you to a specialist for evaluation and treatment of the injury.

Time for recovery?

In general, any child or teen who suffers multiple concussions should consider taking longer breaks between injuries than those who suffer one or two concussions (for example: 3 days vs 1 week).

If you return too soon after an injury and then get hurt again, this could lead to worse symptoms later down the road! 

For example: If someone has headaches after getting hit in hockey but keeps playing anyway—and gets hit again—they might end up with more severe headaches later because their brain wasn’t given enough time after being injured for blood flow and healing processes in their brains/nervous system/etc.

Make sure that a health care provider has cleared you before playing contact sports again.

t’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget about safety, but you can do many things to protect yourself from concussions. 

Keeping your head in the game by sticking to the rules of the game and not hitting from behind or with your head down will help keep you safe. 

Also, if you have a concussion, make sure that you see a health care provider right away so that they can assess whether another injury is possible before returning to play again.