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On Nov. 11, 2015, Children’s Hospital Colorado hosted our second educational social summit, combining a social activation on Twitter with a live audience gathering in the hospital’s atrium.
The dynamic panel featured three Children’s Colorado renowned experts and co-directors of the Concussion Program – Michael Kirkwood, PhD, Julie Wilson, MD and Pam Wilson, MD – along with Ed Hartnett, Colorado High School Activities Association board president and Rebecca Franciscus, mother of a Children’s Colorado concussion patient. The discussion was led by 9News anchor TaRhonda Thomas, who fielded questions from the live audience as well as Twitter. During the hour-long #ConcussionAskUs summit, @ChildrensColo generated tweets reaching more than 2.7 million Twitter users and enjoyed significant support on the topic through engagement with the Broncos organization and other community partners.
A creative space for parents, caregivers and coaches to get information
A primary theme that emerged is the need for parents to be vigilant on and off the sports field, as concussions can be sustained during everything from a soccer or football game to an unexpected head-knock in a pool or a toddler simply falling off of a chair. That said, the experts stressed repeatedly that while concussions, and all brain injuries, need to be taken seriously, most kids experience a full recovery.
Virtual engagement for everyone to ask questions
Helmet safety was also a critical part of the summit conversation, with Dr. Pam Wilson stressing, “the best helmet is the one on your kid’s head.” Parents were reminded that many helmets (i.e., ski, bike) are built for one crash and need to be replaced immediately after a crash.
Specific to sports, the Children’s Colorado experts were often asked which sports have the highest concussion rates. While football and soccer do top the list, the experts explained that every sport and activity carries a risk. Children’s Colorado’s concussion program has even seen concussions from sports like golf and cross-country. What’s most important is understanding the signs and symptoms of concussions, speaking up when you see a potential injury occur and going to your physician as soon as possible if you have any inclination or worry that a concussion may have occurred.
Be sure to check out the hashtag #ConcussionAskUs on Twitter to see more of the conversation and access all of the resources shared during the summit.