(Note to readers: Gwinnett Medical Center has provided me with compensation for this post. However, as always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.)
As our children head back to school for yet another year of learning, they’ll also be heading back into school sports teams and events that often bring potential for injury along with the fun.
Whether it’s a block on the football field, a fall in a cheer stunt, a trip on the tennis court or a header during soccer, I know it could only take an instant for my child to suffer a traumatic brain injury that could change his or her life forever.
Yes, I’m the mom who is holding her breath when the action is underway, while somehow also yelling at the top of her lungs, cheering her child on the field.
For me, the biggest concern is always head trauma.
That’s why a program being launched through Gwinnett Medical Center seems pretty critical to me as a mom. It’s called Concussion Baseline Testing Day and it’s something that anyone in the Atlanta area can be part of. It’s totally free. Yes, free.
You don’t have to be a Gwinnett County resident, but you do have to sign up in advance for this event that could be critical in treating your child if a head injury does happen. It’s designed for children aged 12 and up and should take about 25 minutes for the evaluation and an hour total for the complete process.
What will they do there?
They’ll use ImPACT, a computer-based neurocognitive tool that looks at five areas of neurocognitive functioning: verbal memory, visual memory, visual-motor speed, reaction time and impulse control. I’m told they’ll establish a baseline profile of how your child’s brain functions now, so that it can be compared to any tests after any future injuries. That’s imperative in diagnosing and treating concussions.
Participants will learn about concussions and baselines, too, complete the testing and finish with an optional post-test Q&A.
This information will be kept on file so that it could be used for an immediate post-concussion assessment if it’s ever needed.
The Concussion Baseline Testing Day is set for August 15th, but you have to sign up by August 11th. Appointments are available between 8:30am and 2:30pm. You just need to click on this link to register.
There are 19 schools participating, with a list of testing locations on the image below and also on that link.