Managing Youth Hockey Concussions

Youth ice hockey is growing in popularity, and now rivals the rates of fractures and head injuries in high school football athletes. Injuries suffered by young hockey players are most commonly located in the player’s upper extremity, with injuries to the spine, face, trunk, and head. Because of the severity of these injuries, a thorough evaluation is necessary after a child has been hurt, especially if they have suffered an injury to the head.

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Unfortunately, preventing head injuries like a concussion in a fast-paced, high contact sport such as hockey is not always possible, but there are ways to be proactive should your child experience head trauma in the future.

Baseline Testing

Baseline testing is the best way to prepare for a concussion. Here at The Center, we administer ImPACT Pediatric; a neurocognitive test for management of pediatric concussions that is taken on an iPad. It is designed to aid in the evaluation of concussions, along with other tests of balance, oculomotor, and vestibular processes. Schools, sports teams, and clinics use baseline and post-injury testing tools to assess and manage injuries in children ages 5-11. It is the first and only computerized cognitive assessment aid for pediatric concussions to receive FDA clearance. Concussion baseline testing is available to all students ages 12 to 18 through The Center Foundation.

Managing Concussions

If you suspect a concussion, it’s important to remove the child from play immediately.  Athletes who are removed from play immediately following a concussion are much more likely to recover from a concussion in less than three weeks.

If you suspect your child has a concussion, and your child has received the ImPACT Pediatric test at The Center, he or she will be established as a patient and their care will be streamlined. He or she can be evaluated at a walk-in NOWcare visit (Monday – Friday, 9:00 – 4:00) by a provider with specialized training in concussion management. The provider will use objective data to measure the extent of the injury and create an individualized treatment plan to return your child to play when he or she is ready. In more severe concussion cases where children need additional accommodations, The Center’s providers work directly with a multi-disciplinary team, along with your child’s school, until they are able to return to normal activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the baseline test take?

In general, the test takes about 20-30 minutes to perform.

What is the cost?

The cost is $25 for baseline testing and $40 for post-injury testing, payable by cash, check, or debit/credit card.

Will insurance cover the cost of the test?

Unfortunately, most health plans do not cover this cost.

How often does my child need to take the baseline test for it to be effective?

The pediatric ImPACT test is effective for one year, as children’s brains develop rapidly. The adolescent/adult version is effective for two years.

My child is older than 11 years old, can they still be tested?

Yes! Concussion baseline testing is available to all students ages 12 to 18 through The Center Foundation. For more information, or to schedule a test, call 541.322.2323.

To schedule a baseline test for children between the ages of 5-11, call 541-322-2214