Updated: Jul 4, 2019
According to Brainline 3.8 million concussions are estimated each year in youth sports, as many as half go unreported. This may be for a number of reasons including a lack of concussion education or unfortunately a push by coaches and athletes to return to play without proper concussion protocol.
I recently took my 12 year old for his Neurocognitive Baseline Testing (Concussion Baseline). As a coach and referee I have taken all of the first-aid and concussion courses required. I've watched the documentaries on CTE and its scary. But, injury is a risk of playing any youth sport. We now know that we can prepare for recovery if a concussion does happen and that is why we underwent the Concussion Baseline Testing.
Scheduling is very easy. If you live in Central Ohio you can visit the Nationwide Children's Hospital concussion clinic page. Scroll to the bottom of the page and complete the form. Within a day a representative will contact you and schedule your testing time. They do the testing out of the Westerville office and the cost is just $15 cash.
They are very flexible, our original time had to be rescheduled because we had a game rain out. (surprised?) So, with the last minute reschedule I had to cancel on them. They were very accommodating and rescheduled for the following Tuesday at 4:30.
We arrived about 5 minutes early and they took him back right at 4:30. I didn't have to do anything. At all. They used all of the information I disclosed on the form and they took him straight back to take the tests.
The test is a series of questions and exercises on a healthy athlete that records their decision making ability reaction time, attention and memory. Within 20 minutes we were back in the car and on our way to training.
After the Test:
Now, if we ever fear that he has a concussion we can make an appointment at the concussion clinic where they will use the data they recorded this week and compare it to his tests after the injury. This information used in addition to a physical exam will help determine brain function damage and the extent. In the end, it will help us to not return to play before it is safe.
According to the CDC "repeated mild TBIs occuring within a short period of time (ie; hours, days and weeks) can be catastrophic or fatal." Knowing this is enough for me to commit to taking our time when it comes to head injuries and doing return to play the right way.