The summer is a time to enjoy beautiful weather, rays of sunshine and the company of friends of family. With this fantastic, fun-filled season comes outdoor sports and activities such as cycling, football, baseball and more. Cycling, for example, is a reasonably safe sport that is a great form of exercise but at times can be dangerous if you are not careful. Wearing a helmet while cycling is a summer must to help prevent injury. “Cycling injuries are most common among children and youth — especially those between 10 and 14 years of age” (CBC News Health, 2011). It is important to wear a helmet at all times, and although many children and teens do not view this protective equipment as “cool,” it can help save lives. Pamela Fuselli, executive director of Safe Kids Canada reported “The good news is that many studies are showing that the widespread use of helmets has resulted in fewer serious head injuries among children.”

Head injuries are the leading cause of death and disability among children. Every year in Canada, over 60 children will die as a result of bicycle-related injuries, the majority from brain injury. Over 5,000 children will be seriously injured (Hamilton Brain Injury Association, 2010). A helmet can make all the difference.

If you forget the helmet or your child gets hurt in a game, here are some signs and symptoms that may suggest you or your child could have a concussion. If you or your child is exhibiting any of these signs, it is recommended to go seek medical attention and perhaps acquired brain injury therapy.

  • Loss of consciousness after any trauma to the head
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of short-term memory (may not remember the actual injury and the events some time before or after the impact)
  • Perseverating (repeating the same thing over and over, despite being told the answer each time, for example, “Was I in an accident?”)

Wearing a bike helmet is the smart summer choice! Be safe and have a wonderful summer!

People say “mild concussion” but I don’t think there really is such a thing. It’s a serious thing and obviously its frustrating being out.”- Sydney Crosby NHL

Ashleigh Wishen, M.H.Sc. S-LP (C)
Speech-Language Pathologist, Reg. CASLPO
The Speech Therapy Centres of Canada Ltd.