What’s in a headache?

January 26, 2011

Perhaps a lifetime of health problems. Perhaps early dementia. If the headache is related to a sports concussion…

When I was a child, we didn’t wear helmets to ride our bikes. My kids didn’t wear helmets to ride bikes or to skateboard. We were lucky. They were lucky. Really.

I remember falling off my bike. Plenty of times. We raced and crashed and burned. Perhaps the scariest crash riding a bike without a helmet happened when my daughter way old enough to sit up in the child carrier on the back of my bike, I was riding with her on a bike trail, and some crazy person pushed us off the trail and we–crashed. I was able to keep her upright by sheer will as we went flying and I lunged around backwards to grab the bike that I was no longer sitting on. The deep bruise on that leg and knee that went down is still  memorable…it lasted for months.

It’s important that we are talking about athletics and concussions. http://www.heraldextra.com/news/opinion/editorial/around-the-nation/article_a952962f-591c-53c2-9ad6-64bf42b5ebfc.html It is important that parents wear helmets when they ride bikes and get helmets for their kids. And if there is an accident, get a new helmet…it is designed for a one time use.  And let’s keep talking about it, so that we are less to have concussions that go unreported and untreated…

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One Response to “What’s in a headache?”

  1. Kaitlyn Krauss says:

    Wearing helmets is a very important issue. Besides concerns about concussions there has been new evidence recently that multiple concussions (as a result of head trauma) can even result in depression. Often time’s helmets are seen as “uncool”. We need to remind people that they were invented for a reason and the benefits that a helmet can provide outweigh the cons of how silly you may look when you wear one. Because of this, I believe the transtheoretical model can be used to convince people to wear helmets whether they are playing sports, riding bike/motorcycles or skateboarding. I have demonstrated how a parent can convince their child at a young age of why wearing a helmet is beneficial to their health and well-being.

    In the Pre-Contemplation stage it is important to increase awareness. Studies such as this one can increase awareness in the population (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080118115428.htm). To understand the complications of concussions and learning that wearing a helmet is one way to prevent them may convince more parents to encourage their children to wear helmets.

    The Contemplation Stage expresses feelings about a problem behavior &/or a recommended practice. If a mother is presented with the image of her child falling off their bike and hurting themselves (especially their head) they may be convinced that stressing the use of helmets is important.

    In the Preparation stage one should evaluate that the message should be clearer when telling people why wearing a helmet is beneficial to you. Not using your helmet is more than a physical downfall, but can affect your brain, one of the most important organs in your body! Here you can plan how you can make it a point to wear a helmet more often.

    In the Action stage one must commit to a behavior change. I f a mother is trying to convince her child to wear a helmet when riding their bike they need to begin by stating to the child why not wearing a helmet is a problem. Until they do this, the child may be unaware. Parents can recommend and implement a process of getting ready to ride a bike. Maybe suggest putting a helmet on right after putting on sneakers. Children will be more open to putting on a helmet before riding their bike then when they are already on a bike and having fun. If they begin to learn the process they will associate putting on the helmet first will lead to fun on the bike next.

    The Maintenance stage is where one becomes aware of and accepts changes and empowerment strategies to maintain their new behavior. One can do this by always using the process stated above (in the action stage) and provide words of encouragement for the child to remind them that wearing a helmet is always a smart decision.

    Finally the evaluation stage will come when one sees the results of sticking to their plan. If one avoids a terrible head accident as a result of wearing their helmet they may be more likely to continue with this process.

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