On Wednesday, March 14 Lincoln Academy will host a Concussion Awareness Night in the LA gym. This event is free and open to the public. Local families, educators, and health care providers are encouraged to attend to learn more about the latest findings about concussions, especially as they affect young athletes.
The guest speaker will be Ray Ciancaglini, a former professional boxer who has become an advocate for concussion awareness. Ciancaglini travels around the country educating people about the dangers of concussions. He is particularly focused on helping young athletes and their families learn about how to take care of themselves and avoid long-term health issues from head injuries.
Lincoln Academy athletic trainer Megan DeRaps heard Ciancaglini speak at the Annual Maine Concussion Symposium in Portland in 2017. She found him to be extremely helpful in her own work with young athletes, and was inspired to organize this forum to share his knowledge with local families and educators.
DeRaps describes Ciancaglini as “an inspiring speaker who talks about his own experiences with concussions in boxing. If you hear someone speaking about their personal experiences, it hits home. If this event can make a difference in even one person’s life, it is worth doing.”
DeRaps has partnered with Lincoln Academy school nurse Eric Duffy to organize the event, and together they have reached out to local middle and high schools, youth organizations, and club teams to make people aware of the opportunity.
After the keynote by Ciancaglini, Duffy and DeRaps will join him for a panel discussion about the many issues surrounding concussions, including medical implications, signs and symptoms, things to look for after an injury, state regulations about when athletes can return to the playing field, standards that healthcare professionals are held to, and what coaches need to know about pulling their athletes from competition.
“The big question that I face all the time is, ‘once I have a concussion, what do I do now?’” said DeRaps. “There is so much ever-changing knowledge and research that it is hard to keep up. Concussions have an impact not only on sports, but the academic side as well. When can kids return to class? What happens long-term and short term? I hope parents, teachers, and coaches will take advantage of this opportunity to learn the latest!
“Concussions are becoming more and more prominent,” DeRaps continued. “There are many reasons for this, but for one thing, athletics have changed. We train our kids to be bigger, faster, and stronger. Basketball and soccer considered non-contact sports. I tell people, ‘go see a basketball or soccer game, and tell me it’s non-contact.’ Kids are getting hurt more than they used to.
“Sports are a huge part of our culture–we love our athletes, but we need to take care of them, too.”
Lincoln Academy’s Concussion Awareness Night takes place on Wednesday, March 14 from 5-7 pm in LA’s Bailey Gymnasium. The forum is free, and the public is encouraged to attend to learn more about this important public health issue.
Photo: Lincoln Academy athletic trainer Megan DeRaps (left) and school nurse Eric Duffy are the organizers of Lincoln Academy’s Concussion Awareness Night, which takes place on Wednesday, March 14 in the LA gym. The forum is free and open to the public.
Concussion Awareness Night’s Facebook Event page is at this link.