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Archive for August, 2012

CDC Burn to Learn

It has been proven over and over, kids who are physically active and participate in sports get better grades!  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), teens who receive mostly As are almost twice as likely to get the CDC recommended daily 60 minutes of physical activity than teens who receive mostly Ds and Fs? Kids who perform better in school are more likely to be physically active on a regular basis. Adding physical activity to the school day can not only keep kids healthy, but also increase attention, behavior and positive attitudes leading to improved academic performance.

However, fewer than 7 out of 10 high school students receive the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day. With the school year quickly approaching, teachers and school administrators around the country are getting classrooms and gymnasiums ready for the new school year. In addition to lesson plans and clean whiteboards, desks and hallways, another item to keep in mind this school year is the importance of physical activity.

Test your knowledge of the relationship between physical activity and academic performance with this quick quiz from the CDC:

What sports will your child do this fall?

Categories : Great Resources
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Support Your School’s Athletic Boosters

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booster club

Last week at the high school’s fall sports meeting I heard a very startling fact. In our public school district, every high school receives $7500 per year to fund their ENTIRE sports program. Are you kidding me? $7500 to fund 17 different sports teams? WOW! I was stunned. Then when I heard that the officials bill for those 17 sports totaled $41,000 last year I really had to shake my head. How on earth do the school sports function?

Answer: the Athletic Boosters and volunteers

In order to make up the difference in the funds that the athletic department receives from the county and the amount that they need to buy uniforms, equipment, pay for officials, etc, the athletic boosters helps them out through ticket sales, spirit gear sales, fundraisers, and concessions.

If you have an athlete in high school or one coming up through the ranks, get involved with your school’s athletic boosters. They need volunteers. They need fresh ideas. They need support. Your athletes need you.

The principal at our school was talking with the parents and said something to the effect that if they offered a class that taught leadership, teamwork, ethics, time management and fitness at the high school, they probably wouldn’t have anyone sign up, but if your child’s sports coach says see you at practice on Monday at 9, every athlete would be there. Sports teaches all of those important life skills. And without the booster clubs, parent volunteers, and support from the local community, many more cuts to the already suffering athletic programs would have to be made.

Contact your school’s booster club and see how you can get involved in something that will truly benefit your student athlete.

Categories : High School Sports
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Praise for More Concussion Education

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With two athletes in high school now I am so happy to know that our high school and state have placed a priority on concussion awareness and education in all sports at the high school level. I was at the school earlier this week for fall sports night – a night where ALL fall athletes and their parents must attend to get information from the administration on academic eligibility, expectations and concussion awareness.  Every athlete in the school from the cheerleaders to the swimmers to the cross country runners to the football players and everyone in between must go through the ImPACT test when they first join the team so there is baseline data on every athlete in the event they suffer a head injury.

What is the ImPACT test?  From the ImPACT website:

ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the first, most-widely used, and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system. ImPACT was developed to provide useful information to assist qualified practitioners in making sound return to play decisions following concussions.

If you have a student athlete who does a “non-impact” sport, you may not think that concussion education is important, but according to our school’s principal, the first athlete they had to retest following a head injury was not a football player or a soccer player, it was SWIMMER who had stood up in the locker room after a hard race and passed out immediately hitting her head on a counter top as she fell. My son also suffered a head injury this spring while swimming when he misjudged the wall and ended up with five stitches in his forehead (no concussion though).  So, really, you just never know and having that baseline data is just so important for managing a head injury when it occurs.

Did you know that 90% of concussion occur without the loss of consciousness? Did you know that the effects of a second and third injury have compounding repercussions if the initial injury is not completely healed? 

When in doubt, as a parent or a coach, if you have an athlete that has sustained ANY LEVEL of head injury – with or without the loss of consciousness – sit them out and get them evaluated! There are more important things in life than playing hurt. 

While it is great to see high schools, colleges and professional sports leagues taking concussion education and monitoring seriously, I would encourage pediatricians offices and/or youth sports leagues to offer baseline testing as well. 

For more information on concussions in youth sports, concussion education and concussion testing, see the following articles:

Categories : Injuries, Resources
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