Calling All Parents: Are You SURE Your Child’s Ready for Summer Camp?
Concussion Baseline Testing…???
As South Florida parents and caregivers coast to coast gear up to prepare their children for an active summer of fun including Soccer, Baseball, Football and more, there is a new addition to the Summer Camp checklist: the Concussion Baseline Testing.
What is a baseline test?
Baseline testing is a pre-season exam performed FREE of CHARGE every Saturday from 9 to 4 PM and Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6-9pm at OrthoNOW (www.orthonowcare.com), South Florida’s only Orthopedic Urgent Care facility in Doral.
- Provides a cognitive view of the child’s current brain function
- Child’s balance
- Brain function (Memory skills, learning, Paying attention or concentrating, thinking or problem solving)
The results, which are stored in a national database – Impact, can be accessed from any major healthcare facility and then be used as a comparison to similar tests.
Ideally, the test should be done before the first day of camp and is suggested for kids over the age of 8 because it can ensure the safety of our children as they begin summer fun.
The Center for Disease Control estimates reveal that 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions occur each year. And, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a concussion is a common injury that is likely underreported by pediatric and adolescent athletes. Football has the highest incidence of concussion, but girls have higher concussion rates than boys do in similar sports.
Why is the baseline test so important? Dr. Alejandro Badia, Chief Medical Officer of OrthoNOW explains that the results can be used for suspected concussions. By comparing the baseline test to test results after an injury, the health care professional is able to identify the effects of the injury and make a more informed decision. If a concussion is suspected, education should be provided to athletes and their parents about:
- Danger signs and when to seek immediate care
- How to reduce risk for future concussions
- Safely returning to school
- Tips to aid recovery
Baseline tests should be interpreted only by a health care professional experienced in concussion management. The computerized or paper-pencil neuropsychological tests should be interpreted by a neuropsychologist.
And, it is recommended to repeat the different components of the test once a year. The neuropsychological component may be repeated every 2 years but should be done more frequently if the athlete has sustained a concussion or have a medical condition that affects the results.