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Podcast explores concussion recognition and management in kids

Research News
Monday, February 10, 2020 - 10:20am

A new podcast series is exploring the impact of concussion on children and how best to manage head injuries. 

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in partnership with Podcast One have developed the six-episode series, Concussion, presented by neuropsychologist and concussion expert, Professor Vicki Anderson.

The series will help listeners understand what happens to the brain during concussion, the differences in severity of hits to the head, the steps to help the community diagnose and manage head injuries and the advancements in future technology. 

“Concussion has been thrown around as a scary buzz word in the media. This series delves into the underlying science of concussion, what it does to our brain and how parents, coaches, teachers and other community members can become part of the recovery process,” Professor Anderson said.

“We encourage kids to play sport. Playing sport is better than not playing, but it’s important to be aware, not alarmed about risks of head knocks.”

Professor Anderson, theme director of clinical sciences at MCRI, said learning about the ‘symptom and recovery’ pathway empowered parents to better understand how to manage concussion and importantly, feel confident in letting their children remain as active as possible.

“There’s 25 per cent of kids that need extra care when still showing symptoms after four weeks ‘the persisting symptoms group’,” she said.

“The series looks at what the persisting symptoms group is, how to identify it and what you should do to help manage it.”

The podcast also hears from Daniel Harford, former AFL player and current coach of the Carlton AFLW team, who discusses how concussions are handled by high profile athletic company’s such as the AFL, and how skills development in women’s AFL needs to be improved to prevent further injuries.  

It is estimated five to six AFL players suffer a concussion for every 1,000 hours spent on the field, equating to six to seven concussions per team each season.Professor Anderson said technology advances had also led to better approaches to diagnosing and managing head injuries. 

The AFL has teamed up with MCRI to produce ‘Headcheck’, a concussion app available on ios and android devices, which assists parents, first aiders, trainers and coaches to recognise and manage concussion recovery in children. 

Patrick Clifton, head of health, safety and laws at the AFL, talks on the podcast about the features of the app that could prevent further damage and guide the appropriate return to school and play.

To listen to the podcast visit podcastoneaustralia.com.au/podcasts/concussion or for more on the Headcheck app visit headcheck.com.au

Available for interview: 
Professor Vicki Anderson
Daniel Harford, coach of the Carlton AFLW team

Media Contact: 
Bridie Byrne
MCRI communications specialist
+613 9936 6211/ 0427 836 176
bridie.byrne@mcri.edu.au