Most Canadian guys agree: With the cooler weather, fall and winter are the best times for playing sports. But if you do play, watch your head. There’s been a lot of research about brain injury in the past few years. And some of the facts ought to shock anyone on a bike, board, field, rink or slopes into a helmet.
1. 11,000 Canadians die every year from brain injuries; 6,000 are permanently disabled.
2. Brain injuries mostly happen to young men.
3. Brain and spinal cord injuries are the premiere cause of death to people under 24.
Once you’ve had one head injury – just like that second traffic ticket in a single insurance period of grace – you’re susceptible to far greater damage from a subsequent impact. According to headinjury.com, “Second Impact Syndrome results from acute, usually fatal, brain swelling that occurs when a second concussion is sustained before complete recovery from a previous concussion…”
Your brain is a miracle with more connections in it than stars in the sky. Plastic and pliable, it can adapt remarkably when injured – but only so far. An impact as benign-seeming as a soccer head-butt can have repercussions. And while XY Canada has promoted the activity in the past, maybe you should just avoid tobogganing this winter altogether.
We’re not trying to frighten but we need our readers lucid. If you play a physical sport, protect your coconut. And if you do bonk your conch this fall or winter, don’t be a hero. Go to a hospital.