Tag Archives: safety

Keeping Athletes Safe in Sports

announce - NOWINSKI

I was excited to learn last week that Chris Nowinski was coming to Oklahoma to speak about the concussion crisis. Chris is the founder of  the Concussion Legacy Foundation and, while I’ve interacted with him on twitter, I hadn’t ever met him in real life. I was also interested to learn what he had to share.

Nowinski-press conference - OKATCFirst there was a press conference. Our current pending concussion legislation in Oklahoma was discussed. Chris said it was a good bill. That it took the best of already exciting bills and added some other, innovative ideas. It is expected to be signed by Governor Fallin this week.

concussion-crisis

Then it was time for his presentation Solving the Concussion Crisis: Keeping Athletes Safe in Sports. Chris talked about how concussions are an invisible injury that one can play through. They don’t cause pain, like a broken limb, and the symptoms are difficult to diagnose. Nearly one in four concussions are caused by head to ground impact. 

Many times, the athletes don’t want to report their symptoms because they don’t want to appear weak or let their team down. In a survey, when concussions were called a “ding” more athletes reported having experienced one. 

concussion_reporting

About the problem, Nowinski said not a whole lot can be done about the problem if we keep hitting people in the head so much. 

Chris_Nowinski

From his presentation, it was easy to see that education and more understand are key to at least moving in the right direction in the concussion crisis. It was an honor to meet Chris Nowinski.

 

Safe Kids Day

It was SO much fun to participate in Safe Kids Day with Safe Kids Tulsa

kasp_tulsa_1

I was in Tent 5.

tent5

Because of my focus on keeping kids safe from concussion in youth sports, I got to man the Youth Sports Safety game.

kasp_tulsa_2

Before we started tossing bean bags, though, I talked to all the kids about proper safety equipment, hydration, and warming up before playing.

sk day 2016 pics 014

The kids were fun, smart, and interactive. They all were excited to tell me about the sports that they play. Of course they all loved the bean bag tossing. 

sk day 2016 pics 008

I love it when I’m part of making a learning experience fun! 😀

 

New Platform Direction: Concussion Awareness

When I decided to enter the Mrs. International Pageant, I was positive of what my platform should be. After all, I’ve been encouraging people to walk for health for over ten years now and it seemed a natural. Until I got my hands on an advance copy of the book Concussion (release date: 11/24/15).

I knew that the movie “Concussion”, starring Will Smith, would be coming out on Christmas Day and was eagerly looking forward to seeing it. When I learned I would get to read the book, I was thrilled. When I got it, I stayed up all night reading it until I was finished. What I read changed my life.

I decided to change my platform to Concussion Awareness. My reason for doing that is because of our oldest son. He started playing football when he was eight and went to Tulane University on a football scholarship. Before he got to college, he’d had at least one concussion. By the time he had a career ending neck injury at the beginning of his sophomore year of college, he’d had five concussions. I now believe the broken neck was blessing in disguise.

Brandon10

After our son had his last concussion, the doctors at Tulane University Medical Center told us they felt he was fine to play but they would have him wear a high tech helmet that would provide him extra protection. I was happy with this. Even up until the beginning of college football season this year where it now looks like all players wear this helmet.

FanDay2002

Up until I read the book “Concussion” that says that no matter what kind of helmet an athlete is wearing, they will still be able to sustain a concussion because, although the helmet can stop the skull from being fractured, it cannot stop the brain from banging around inside of the skull in the cerebral fluid.

FacebookShareables-1

Every time another NFL player takes his own life, and they indicate it was due to concussions, I pray that God will keep our son safe and, even if we never get to speak to him again, he will have a happy life.

What we know when we let our kids play football is that they may break an arm or a leg. We know about those kinds of injuries but no one talks about concussion. In our son’s case, he was a defensive lineman in college and played both sides of the ball all the years before college. The research indicates that the cumulative effect of all the subconcussive hits, the hits that a lineman receives on nearly every play as they go head to head with the other line, could be even worse.

Parents need to have this information and understand the potential outcome of multiple concussions. They need to be aware of the signs of concussion. I want to help get this word out.  

Would we have done anything differently if we had had this information? I can’t say. But at least we would have been making the most informed decision we could make because we would’ve had all the facts.

This isn’t just a football problem, either. Concussions happen in all sports. Football just happens to be the topic for the movie and my own experience. A place to start.

FacebookShareables-3

I’ve chosen to work with the Patrick Risha CTE Awareness Foundation. When I read Patrick’s story, and it was so much like our son’s, I knew it was the place for me. 

While I will never stop telling you how great walking is for your heart, overall health, and even your marriage, I feel that making parents aware of the signs and effects of concussion is so very important. If I can stop one mom from feeling the way that I did when I learned that a helmet doesn’t really protect against a concussion at all, it will be worth it. 

You can learn more about concussion and CTE at the Foundation website www.StopCTE.org

 

Teaching Kids to be Heroes

Today, I was excited to be a part of a group from the American Heart Association that went to Blossom Valley Elementary School in Los Gatos to help teach the kids how to do hands only CPR.

It was quite an assembly. Also attending were several county councilpersons, the superintendent and many fired and EMS workers. Santa Clara County is working on putting automated external defibrillators (AEDs) n all of their schools. We were at Blossom Valley to talk to the kids about the AED and to show them how to use it.

IMG_3920

Three of the five fifth grade classes participated in the assembly. I love fifth graders! They are interested and smart and fun. They were excited to learn the process and they were all really good at it. I walked around, along with the other adults, to make sure they had their hands positioned correctly, were pumping the Manikins correctly, etc.  

The Manikins that were used are like the ones in the Family and Friends CPR Anytime kit.

The cool thing is that these kits can be purchased for your own home use so your fifth grader can learn how to properly do CPR, too! 

IMG_3921

Once the kids learned how to do the hands only CPR, the AED instructions were added in an they practiced that. I think they kids learned really well the subject matter they were supposed to learn. They had fun doing it and I’m sure that if they ever need to help someone, they will be able to!

 

Bicycle Safety

And no, I’m not talking about your safety while riding a bicycle. I’m talking about the safety of your bicycle. 

I just opened our resident portal here in California to report that my kitchen light is flickering when I saw a note that two bikes had been stolen from our supposedly secure parking garage. Having had one of our vehicles broken into already and seen people in the garbage dumpsters who I’m pretty sure don’t live here, I have never considered leaving my bike in the garage. 

Instead, when I’m not riding it, my bike lives in the entry way,

bike1

or next to the stairs (both of which David hates, but I get busy you know),

bike2

or on the balcony which really makes the most sense to me.

bike3

There are lots of bike riders in San Jose. When you ride around you see bikes locked up but that’s clearly not enough because, additionally, you’ll see they have a wheel or the seat removed for extra safety.

It was really interesting when I was home in Tulsa last week. I was getting into my car after picking up my pizza (vegan) and noticed a family ride up on bikes. Well, maybe it was a family with a lot of kids or a family with their kids and their kids friends. But in any case, there were at least eight people and eight bikes. 

Do you know what they did when they got to the front of the restaurant? They got off of their bikes, parked them and went in the door to eat. There wasn’t a lock among them. All the seats stayed in place as well as the wheels. 

I reflected about the bikes here in San Jose and came to the conclusion that bikes are much safer in Oklahoma. 

I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not, though. Does it mean Oklahoma has less thieves? Less active people? Better things to steal? 

As I ponder this, I’ll continue to ride my bike and keep it safe. In the living room. I mean on the balcony. 😉

Yes, I enjoyed my trip

And I did take pictures. Well, one picture.

I was sitting in the truck while David was inside Copeland Appliance sending a Federal Express package. As I sat there, I realized I had left a couple of things off of my shopping list. I looked around the truck but couldn’t find anything to write with. I figured they would have a pen I could use inside.

So I got out of the truck, opened the door to Copeland’s and tripped into the store. Somehow I missed the fact that there was a step right there. Now let’s look and see if we can figure out why.

Here is the door:


I’ve circled some important clues that should have alerted me to the offending step.

The first sign boldly warns “CAUTION” complete with a trippy guy and three downward arrows. Watch your step!


The next sign fairly screams “STEP” with four more arrows pointing down to the, um, step.


This sign is repeated in a smaller version at the bottom of the door which is right on top of the actual step which is bright yellow and about six inches high.

So how did I miss all of these clues? I can’t answer that question but they don’t call me Lauri Grace for nothing. 😉