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Dr. Nick Reed concussion column: Volume 1

Hi GTHL community! 

My name is Dr. Nick Reed and I am the Co-Director and Clinician Scientist in the Holland Bloorview Concussion Centre.  I’m passionate about educating people about concussions and getting kids and youth with concussions back to what they need, want and love to do.  Many people don’t know what to do, who to talk to, or when it’s safe to go back to school or playing hockey after sustaining a concussion.  That’s why I am here, in a new partnership between the Holland Bloorview Concussion Centre and the GTHL.  Together we are creating a concussion strategy and return to play protocol so the health and safety of every player remains a top priority.

Concussion education is an important part of playing any sport, so that every player, coach, trainer and parent is aligned in knowing what to do to help kids get back to life, school and sports when they are ready to after a concussion. 

Our partnership with the GTHL is unique, and we are excited to begin baseline testing for all interested players. Baseline testing records a player’s brain health through tests of cognition, strength, agility and balance.  If a player gets a concussion either during hockey or outside of, we can compare the baseline to the post-concussion results to identify the areas that are impacted, help the player recover and know when to return to play.

Post-concussion care services and education are a big part of our program.  Holland Bloorview is Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital and a world leader in youth concussion care, education and research.  The Concussion Centre is one of the first in the world focused exclusively on pediatric concussion, and our clinicians are specifically trained in pediatric brain injury. Further, our rehabilitation services and educational programs are supported by research.  We have many ongoing research studies to help us learn more about concussion in children and youth.

Working with the GTHL – the largest minor hockey league in the world – means that more than 40,000 kids, along with their parents, coaches and trainers, are equipped with the leading concussion research, education and care. We’re your partners in brain health.

Throughout the hockey season, we will be in your neighbourhood for concussion awareness campaigns and community events.  You will also hear regularly from us within the GTHL’s Breakout Express newsletter and Breakout Magazine.  Our Concussion Centre team is looking forward to keeping you informed and seeing you at the rink!

For more information about the Holland Bloorview Concussion Centre, or to download a free copy of Concussion & You: A Handbook for Parents and Kids, please visit HollandBloorview.ca.

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