Concussion experts at Edmonds Health & Fitness Expo will answer questions

Increasing number of high school athlete concussions leads to new questions from parents
May 11, 2013
Courtesy of: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention For kids age 8-13, cycling accounted for the highest percentage of sports-related concussions (18 percent) with football coming in second at 10 percent, according to the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics in a study of ER visits published in 2010. The results underscore the importance of wearing a helmet.

From 2005 to 2012, the number of high school athletes diagnosed with concussions jumped from 9 percent to 22 percent.

This increase, combined with recent publicity about long-term brain injuries of pro football players, has many parents wanting to know more about concussions.

Parents will have a chance to ask doctors questions about concussions at the Health & Fitness Expo at Edmonds/Woodway High School, May 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Concussion experts from Swedish Health Services will be on hand at one of 37 booths in the exhibit area next to the stadium.

“Even though Washington state was first in the nation to pass concussion legislation that requires policies for the management of concussion and head injury in youth sports, there’s confusion about concussion symptoms and precautions,” said Andrew J. Cole, M.D., director of Swedish Musculoskeletal Services and medical director of Swedish Spine, Sport & Musculoskeletal Medicine. “For example, many people don’t realize that you can experience a concussion even if you do not lose consciousness.”

Every athlete is unique, but some of the common symptoms of a concussion are:




·         Headache or pressure in head

·         Nausea or vomiting

·         Balance problems or dizziness

·         Double or blurry vision

·         Bothered by light

·         Bothered by noise


“If symptoms are ignored and repeat concussions occur, they can cause permanent brain damage and even death,” Cole said. “And yet, no longer playing sports to avoid concussions is not the answer. Athletic activities contribute to a healthy lifestyle so the emphasis should be on precautions.”


Concussion Precautions


·         Follow a coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport

·         Practice good sportsmanship at all times

·         Use proper sports equipment, including personal protective equipment

·         Learn the symptoms of a concussion


If you think you’ve suffered a concussion, tell someone immediately and get a medical checkup. A doctor or health-care professional can tell you if you have a concussion and when you are OK to return to play.

In addition to the expo’s health and wellness booths and activities, you can join a rubber chicken relay, soccer skills clinic, cheer clinic with professional cheerleaders or enjoy a free healthy box lunch (while quantities last).

Immediately following the Health & Fitness Expo, at 12:45 p.m., a Swedish doctor will be appear in a live pre-game webcast of the opening game of the North Sound Seawolves FC soccer team. Erik Brand, M.D., MSc, director of Sports Medicine Services, Swedish Spine, Sports and Musculoskeletal Medicine will answer the most frequently asked questions about concussions.

To see the free webcast live or an archived version, go to, then click on the "PDL" tab at the top.

A 5k fun run, Conquer the Hill, starts and ends at the same location before the expo.

Runners may register as late as May 17, 4 p.m. at or on race day if the run is not sold out.

The events are sponsored by City of Edmonds, Move60, Swedish/Edmonds, Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County, Axis Physical Therapy, Revelations Yogurt, Edmonds Family Medicine and North Sound Seawolves FC.







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