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2016 Concussions in Children and Youth Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

The purpose of this health indicator report is to provide information on concussions knowledge and awareness among adults aged 18 and over with children aged 5-17 living in Halton Region.

Background

A concussion is a brain injury caused by a bump or a blow to the head, face or neck, or somewhere else on the body that causes a sudden jarring of the head. A child does not need to lose consciousness to have a concussion. A concussion affects the way a child may think and remember things and can cause a variety of symptoms including headache, nausea or vomiting, irritability, difficulty concentrating, confusion or disorientation, blurred vision, and feeling dizzy or lightheaded. If you think your child may have a concussion, it is important to stop the activity and seek medical attention.

The most important treatment for a concussion is rest, both mental and physical. A child or teen diagnosed with a concussion should follow a medically supervised, individualized, and gradual Return to Learn/Return to Play plan to help them return to normal activities. For more information on concussions, visit Halton Region’s Concussions - Information for Parents webpage, or see Parachute’s Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport.

This health indicator report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS).

Key Findings

Overall Findings

  • In 2016, 22% of Halton households with children aged 5-17 reported that at least one child had ever had a concussion, and 78% reported that none of their children had ever had a concussion.

Municipality

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton households with children aged 5-17 who reported that at least one child had ever had a concussion.

Income

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton households with children aged 5-17 who reported that at least one child had ever had a concussion. 

Parental Confidence in Identifying the Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

Overall Findings

  • In 2016, 42% of Halton adults with children aged 5-17 reported that they were very confident in their ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion in their child/children, 50% were somewhat confident, and 8% were not very or not at all confident.

Sex

  • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by sex in the percentage of Halton adults with children aged 5-17 who reported being somewhat or very confident (combined) in their ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

Age

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by age in the percentage of Halton adults with children aged 5-17 who reported being somewhat or very confident (combined) in their ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

Municipality

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults with children aged 5-17 who reported being somewhat or very confident (combined) in their ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

Income

  • In 2016, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults with children aged 5-17 who reported being somewhat or very confident (combined) in their ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

Education

  • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by education in the percentage of Halton adults with children aged 5-17 who reported being somewhat or very confident (combined) in their ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

Concussion Management Strategies

Response to Collision

  • In 2016, 70% of Halton adults with children aged 5-17 reported that they would sit their child out of an activity for a little while following a collision with another child causing their child to fall to the ground, but after which their child claimed to be okay. Additionally, 16% reported that they would remove the child from the activity and 13% reported that they would allow their child to continue playing.

Altering a Child’s Routine

  • In 2016, 92% Halton adults with children aged 5-17 reported that they would take their child to the doctor if their child was irritable and complained of not sleeping well and having a headache the morning following a collision with another child which caused their child to fall to the ground, and 6% reported that they would keep their child home to get some extra rest.

Importance of Limiting Activities

  • In 2016, 79% of Halton adults with children aged 5-17 reported that they believed it was very important for a child with a concussion to limit cognitive and school learning activities such as reading, watching TV, playing electronic games, and attending school. Additionally, 16% believed that it was somewhat important and 4% believed that it was not very or not at all important.

Awareness of the Return to Play Protocol

Overall Findings

  • In 2016, 55% of Halton adults with children aged 5-17 reported that they had heard of the Return to Play Protocol for children to safely return to activity or sport after having a concussion.

Sex

  • In 2016, there was no statistically significant difference by sex in the percentage of Halton adults with children aged 5-17 who reported that they had heard of the Return to Play Protocol.

Municipality

  • In 2016, adults with children aged 5-17 living in Burlington and Oakville were more likely than adults living in Milton to report that they had heard of the Return to Play Protocol. These differences were statistically significant.

Education

  • In 2016, the percentage of Halton adults with children aged 5-17 who reported that they had heard of the Return to Play Protocol was higher among those who were post-secondary graduates compare to those who were not post-secondary graduates, however this difference was not statistically significant.

Income

  • In 2016, the percentage of Halton adults with children aged 5-17 who reported that they had heard of the Return to Play Protocol increased as income increased. These differences were statistically significant when comparing those in the high income group to those in the low and middle income groups.