Head Injury

| March 27, 2009 | 3 Comments

In our activity, head injury is a risk.  It is important as educators that we understand the risks and the appropriate response when injury occurs.  Please make sure you know your county’s policy regarding injury and student safety.  And always make sure to notify parents in the case of a head injury – even when the student appears to be fine afterward.  Please read this article – you might be surprised by how what seems like a small bump can become much more serious!

Actress’s Story Keeps Little Girl Alive by Elizabeth Cohen, CNN (posted on AOL news March 27, 2009)

 

Edited 10/15/2011: Link above was broken – here’s a new link to the same article posted on CNNhealth.com


I came across an article today on AOL news that I wanted to pass along to my fellow colorguard educators.  By now most of you have probably heard about the tragic death of actress Natasha Richardson due to a head injury while skiing.  This article discusses a young girl who was saved as a result of her parents awareness of the dangers of concussion after hearing about Richardson’s story.  The little girl was hit in the head by a baseball but showed no serious symptoms for a full 48 hours.  In our activity, head injury is a risk.  After all, we’re throwing heavy wooden and metal objects into the air, sometimes in wind or blinding sun.  It is important as educators that we understand the risks and the appropriate response when injury occurs.  Please make sure you know your county’s policy regarding injury and student safety.  And always make sure to notify parents in the case of a head injury – even when the student appears to be fine afterward.  Please read this article – you might be surprised by how what seems like a small bump can become much more serious!

 

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Category: Instruction, Latest News, safety

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Our CGE editorial team works together over the web to keep CGE moving forward. We write, brainstorm ideas, share what’s going on in our region, and edit articles submitted by all of the amazing and generous color guard educators who contribute to this growing resource. If you would like to submit an article or have an announcement about a camp or clinic that you would like to share please contact our team at cgeducators at aol.

Comments (3)

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  1. Dara says:

    I see that this article is older, but given the recent discoveries with CTE, I feel that it is pertinent that we in the color guard world seriously address this issue and how we can prevent any type of head injury, small or large. Thoughts? I would like to see some serious discussion about this topic. Our performer’s health deeply depends on it. Thanks, concerned coach

    • Agreed. This blog, however, is for coaches sharing “what works” sorts of tips and advice on choreography and design… we are not medical experts in any way (just coaches sharing ideas) and would not want to provide any advice that could be construed as expert medical advice other than to encourage coaches to make it a priority to protect the health of your performers – speak with school experts regarding injury treatment and prevention – err on the side of caution (especially in windy conditions or when teaching tosses) and make it a priority to protect the children entrusted to your instruction. I hope that our national organizations will address this topic and provide training.

  2. Amanda W says:

    Hi, I’m not a coach but rather a student and came across this thread while looking up various color guard things. In Sept. 2015, I suffered from a color guard head injury at marching band rehearsal. It was dark, windy, and our poles were black. When I tossed the flag, it came down and the pole hit me straight down the face, fracturing my nose as well as injuring my head. I was not knocked unconscious, but the blow to the head was strong enough to knock me to the ground. I went to the “nurse’s station” at the rehearsal. I sat there for a few minutes with an ice pack and took some ibuprofen. In about 10 min, the “nurses” (I say it in quotes because I really don’t know their title) sent me back out into rehearsal because “you seem okay.” So I went out and rehearsed with a headache and later someone told me that my eyes were excessively dilated. The following evening was a football game, so during the run-through that evening, I decided to participate because while I had a serious headache, I’m not one to complain, and I had no idea that anything could be seriously wrong with me. I was SO wrong. I tossed the flag and that’s when I felt like something was wrong, the flag was a complete blur and it came down and hit me in the head. My vision had been blurry and my reaction time slow. The next day I went to the ER and found out that I did indeed have a concussion that was worsened by the second hit. I missed over 30 days of my fall senior semester due to severe headaches. I still suffer from headaches today, and the concussion has left serious other effects such as memory issues, irritability and depression. I give you this long-winded story to say that something really needs be done about head injuries/concussions in general, but also that coaches, band staff, “nurses,” anyone dealing with the color guard needs to be trained on this sort of thing. If we had wanted to, my family could have sued the school for the incident because the “nurses” did not handle the situation properly. They didn’t even do the simple task of checking my eyes. So while these injuries are kind of inevitable, the immediate response and treatment can be improved. I give this anecdote so that maybe some people who are skeptical or don’t see the serious harm can be convinced that something needs to be done. People don’t realize that just because color guard isn’t a “sport” like football where head injuries are very, very common, it is a dangerous activity even if you’re good at it(because of factors some commenters have already mentioned such as wind and sun) and even though no one is running into each other.

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