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Research highlights the dangers of concussions in young athletes

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[highlight align=”left, right, center” style=”different”]With International Helmet Awareness Day coming up this Saturday, June 22, equestrians will be hearing a lot about the danger of head injuries. One of the biggest concerns—particularly for children—is concussions, and recent studies are shedding some light on the problems that come with diagnosing and preventing these injuries.[/highlight]

 

In a recent article in Scientific American, Robert Cantu and Chris Nowinksi, directors of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalophathy, explain that concussions that occur doing sports practices are often missed or misdiagnosed. However, concussions sustained during competition may be more likely to be diagnosed thanks to the presence of a trained professional, such as an EMT, who can catch symptoms that might be missed by a coach.

Concussions are challenging to diagnose because the symptoms are not always obvious. In most cases, the victim never loses consciousness and may feel well enough to carry on with activities. Some symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Reduced balance and coordination
  • Changes in memory, judgment, speech and sleep
  • Feeling dizzy or groggy
  • Blurry or double vision

Riders are consistently told to “get back on the horse” after a fall, but if symptoms of a concussion are present, this is not the best course of action, and a recently published study explains why.

Recovery from a second concussion can take two to three times longer than recovery from a first-time concussion, according to research published in the journal Pediatrics. For this reason, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) recommends that athletes stay sidelined until all symptoms have cleared up and are not being controlled with medication. The timeframe for this varies from case to case, so all patients are advised to be diagnosed and treated by a health care professional.

While riders of any age can sustain a concussion, current research suggests that symptoms of concussion persist longer in teenage athletes than adults. For that reason, their activities should be more closely moderated after a concussion to prevent compounded injury.

A concussion occurs when there’s a hard hit to the head that causes the brain to be jarred or shaken. For example, when a falling rider hits the ground, her skull stops moving first, then the soft brain matter crashes into the inside of the skull, possibly bouncing back and forth multiple times, causing a concussion. The foam lining of a helmet is designed to slow the impact of the rider’s head on a hard surface so that the internal brain crash doesn’t happen.

For more information on recognizing, treating and preventing concussions, visit www.aan.com/concussion.

Source: Horse Channel

One Week to the International Helmet Awareness Day 2013

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[highlight align=”left, right, center” style=”different”]The helmet awareness campaign Riders4Helmets is holding its fourth annual International Helmet Awareness Day on Saturday, June 22. The event aims to educate all equestrians about the importance of wearing protective headgear for every ride, regardless of discipline. The campaign was launched in 201 after Olympic dressage rider Courtney King Dye suffered a traumatic brain injury in a fall from a horse she was schooling in.[/highlight]

All riders are encouraged to participate in Helmet Awareness Day by spreading the word to their equestrian friends, educating themselves about the benefits of helmets, and simply going for a ride with a helmet securely fastened on the day. Additionally, Riders4Helmets will also be hosting “Get Educated” webinars throughout the day on a variety of topics:

  • 8:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time – Lisa Lazarus, General Counsel, Federation Equestrian Internationale: (FEI) “The FEI Helmet Rule – Your Questions Answered”
  • 9:00 a.m. EDT – Roy Burek, Charles Owen: “Replacing Your Hat – What You Should Know”
  • 10:00 a.m. EDT – Jon Pitts, Fit To Ride: “Improving Rider Safety, Performance and Confidence”
  • 11:00 a.m. EDT – Olympian Courtney King-Dye: “The Importance of Helmets”
  • 12:00 p.m. EDT – Dr. Richard Timms, Troxel Helmets: “Equestrian Accidents: Facts”
  • 2:30 p.m. EDT – Dr. Lola Chambless, Neurosurgeon Vanderbilt University Medical Center: “Concussion In Equestrian Sport”

Live participation in the webinars is limited, but video replays will be available on riders4helmets.com after the event. Some previous International Helmet Awareness Day videos are available for viewing at Riders4Helmets’ YouTube channel.

Many equestrian helmet manufacturers and retailers are participating in International Helmet Awareness Day by providing discounts on ASTM/SEI certified helmets. Retailers throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe have signed up to participate. To find a participating retailer, visit riders4helmets.com/ihad/

For more information on equestrian safety, visit the Tipperary Safety Center on HorseChannel.com.

Source: Horse Channel

Young Arabian Horse exhibitors are prepping for their national show

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[highlight align=”left, right, center” style=”different”]The biggest Arabian horse adventure for youth all over North America is right around the corner. The Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show (Youth Nationals) at Expo Square in Albuquerque, N.M., July 20-27 is more than just a horse show. Along with top-notch competition in nearly every discipline, Youth Nationals provides educational opportunities, leadership opportunities, and inclusive social activities for kids of all ages.[/highlight]

Competition

Young equestrians from all over the U.S. and Canada compete at Youth Nationals and vie for the Championship title in a lineup of disciplines that include English, hunter, western pleasure, working western, halter, and more. Beginning with a lead-line class for 2-6 year-olds and ending with the highly competitive 18 and under age division, all youth have a chance to compete. Competitors at Youth Nationals must be qualified for the show by earning points or placings at AHA-recognized shows throughout the year.

Educational Opportunities

Before the competition gets underway, the Arabian Professional and Amateur Horsemen’s Association (APAHA) will host their annual clinic on Thursday, July 18. APAHA Horsewoman of the Year, Liz Bentley and APAHA Professional Instructor of the Year, Rick Nab will share their expertise from 2-5 p.m. in the Horse Arena. For more information about how to participate in the clinic, contact Kathie Hart.

The Arabian Horse Novice Judging Contest and Clinic, sponsored by Hesten Park and the Hoffman Family, is at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, July 26. This informal clinic and contest draws judging teams from the city streets of Los Angeles to the farm fields of Wisconsin. The event gives novice judges a chance to learn from a carded Arabian horse judge, then judge four classes themselves. No advanced sign-up or oral reasons required. Prizes are presented in center ring!

Anyone can test their equine knowledge with the Region 10 sponsored Arabian Horse Hippology Contest, Thursday, July 25 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the Lujan C Building. Quiz stations challenge kids, teens, and adults. The cost is only $5 at the door; there is no advanced sign-up required and awards will be presented in center ring. Contact Youth & Family Programs Director, Shawna Strickland for more information about the judging contest and hippology contest.

Leadership Opportunities

On Friday, July 19, the young leaders of the Arabian horse industry will get down to business with the Arabian Horse Youth Association (AHYA) Convention. During General Session, delegates will vote for the 2013-2014 Executive Officers and committee reports will be given, along with a chance for open mic discussions. For more information on the AHYA Convention, including information about becoming a delegate, click here. The AHYA Board of Directors will host a myriad of fundraising activities throughout the week and will donate a portion of proceeds to a children’s charity.

On Sunday, July 21 and Monday July 22 the Youth Nationals competitors have an opportunity to give back to the Albuquerque community by sharing their horses and horse knowledge during the Total Arabian Interaction and Learning (TAIL) program. TAIL is designed to introduce new comers to the Arabian horse in an comfortable, “back stage” setting. Albuquerque families, youth groups, and day campers are welcome to make a reservation for a TAIL tour by emailing Communication Specialist, Hilary Nixon.

Social Activities

The entire week of Youth Nationals is full of activities for all the kids in the family whether they are showing or not. An ice cream social, carnival, golf cart parade of regions, dog costume class and stick horse contest are just a few of the activities planned throughout the week that make Youth Nationals the perfect place for fun.

New this year, thanks to the AHYA Board, is the “Barn Night Out.” On Wednesday night, July 24, the AHYA Board encourages exhibitors to eat out on the town on the only night there are not any classes in which to compete. This night connects exhibitors to the Albuquerque community, supporting the community that has hosted Youth Nationals for 13 years. Stay tuned for a list of restaurants to consider for Barn Night Out!

The Youth Nationals Shopping Expo, in the Lujan A building is open all week long and features gifts, clothing, jewelry, art, tack, and a variety of other horsey items perfect for every horse-crazy family.

AHYA will once again host a used clothing and accessory consignment sale fundraiser in Lujan C. Hours for the consignment sale will be posted at the Youth Office in Lujan B.

Source: Horse Channel