Hockey players and their parents are a unique bunch of individuals, this coming from a previous hockey mom. The sheer anticipation of an upcoming season brings a thrill to the bellies of those involved. The boys and girls that play are most likely fishing through their hockey bags, trying on gear and simply getting ready to lace up their skates and head to the ice rink, eager for the next hockey season to begin.
Keeping that in mind, the Chicago Blackhawks, AHAI, Athletico, and North Shore University Health System are once again offering the A Step aHead program for youth hockey players. As a part of this program, all athletes, parents, and coaches are offered concussion education. In addition, hockey players ages 13-18 are provided the opportunity to receive a baseline ImPACT test at no cost.
The A Step aHead program began a few years ago and to date has been quite successful. The folks involved with the A Step aHead program are grateful for the participation in the past and look forward to serving youth hockey players in the present and future. Their goal is to not only educate the parents, coaches, athletes and the administration in the sport of hockey about the topic of concussion management, but to put in place some preventatives so that the kids today can continue well on into the future.
In the past, concussions were somewhat overlooked. Now that the realization about concussions has hit the headlines, people in sports are paying better attention.
ImPACT tests are a reliable means to do so. They monitor the functionality of the brain both before and after a concussion so that a better understanding is attained. The ImPACT baseline tests remain valid for up to two years. They help medical professionals and those involved in sports understand the road to recovery after a concussion and help to determine a safe estimate of when the player is ready to get back to the ice and play.
Two years ago, my son had these tests done. Since that period of time, more data has been gathered and that has allowed medical experts the most recent information about each child’s brain functionality. If a child has had a concussion, these test results will help to determine whether or not it is safe for him or her to go back to competitive play.
In Illinois, Athletico is involved with these ImPACT tests. In order to have your child tested, you will need to register him or her at www.athletico.com/impact. Once your information is received, a representative from Athletico will contact you to schedule an appointment.
In addition, A Step aHead has developed an event scheduled to take place on Wednesday, September 25th from 7:00 until 9:00 p.m. It is entitled What Every Hockey Mom Needs to Know About Concussions. Concluding the event, the moms will be invited to take a Blackhawks locker room tour at the United Center. To learn more about this informational seminar click here!