What is a concussion?
A concussion is an alteration of the normal function of the brain induced by trauma, either by a direct blow or by rotational forces that result in a rapid acceleration/deceleration of the brain within the skull. In speed skating, concussion generally occur as a result of a fall resulting in impact into the boards or with the ice or a collision between skaters, and while there is contact or rotation of the head involved it is not always the case. Helmets protect against scull fractures, they do not prevent concussions! As such, it is critical for coaches, officials and parents to be vigilant for signs and symptoms.
Symptoms may include nausea, poor concentration, amnesia, fatigue, sensitivity to light or noise, irritability, poor appetite, and decreased memory. Concussions are often difficult to recognize, as some athletes may not complain of some of these symptoms. Loss of consciousness is not required to have a concussion, and in fact most athletes do not lose consciousness.
Learn how a concussion occurs (CAC resource)
Speed Skating Specific Resources
- Making Head Way in Speed Skating - Now Available!
- Speed Skating Canada Return to Play Guide
- Sample Club Concussion Policy
- Club and Coach Safety Resources
- Crash Protection Guidelines
- Protective Equipment
Concussion Recognition and Assement Tools
- Concussion Recognition Tool (CRT)
- Sport Consussion Assessment Tool V3 (SCAT 3)
- SCAT3 for children ages five to 12 years
Need a Doctor
Consult the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASM) Physician Directory
Hockey Canada Concussion Awareness App
Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC)- Concussions