Kids and Roughhousing

Our understanding of concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries continues to grow. Perhaps one of the most important discoveries in recent years is that concussions can be caused not only by direct blows to the head, but also anything that causes the brain to move within the skull, including whiplash type injuries.

This new information has changed the way that children’s sports are played. Body contact is more restricted than ever and safety equipment continues to improve. Referees, coaches, and volunteers are taught to identify the signs of concussions.

While sports leagues and schools are improving in their handling of concussions, there has been little done about the risks of children sustaining head injuries during horseplay. In these situations, helmets, defined rules, and safety equipment are often absent, leading to unpredictable and unorthodox body contact and falls.

It is important for parents and child care professionals to understand the signs of a concussion so that they can take necessary precautions and seek appropriate treatment. If your child complains of any of the following symptoms they may have suffered a concussion:

– Headaches;
– Dizziness;
– Poor vision;
– Sleepiness; or
– Seeing stars or light

Unfortunately, many children are not at a point in their development where they can accurately report their symptoms. If this is the case, there are several objective symptoms that may suggest that your child has suffered a concussion:

– Inability to concentrate;
– Poor coordination or balance;
– Slow to answer questions or follow directions;
– Blank stare or glassy eyes;
– Easily distracted; or
– Slurred speech

Early detection of a concussion is important in getting appropriate treatment and avoiding further injury. If you believe that your child may have suffered a concussion, it is important to contact medical assistance immediately.

About the Authors


The son of a grocery store clerk, Kevin grew up outside of Perth, Ontario. He credits his humble beginnings with the development of his underdog mentality, an approach he has carried into his legal career.

He attended McMaster University for two years before being granted early admission to Osgoode Hall Law School. After being called to the bar in 2008, Kevin began practising law in Hamilton before joining a leading Toronto litigation firm, representing Canada’s largest insurance companies on personal injury actions. “I didn’t find it fulfilling,” Kevin recalls. “I was helping companies save money, when what I wanted to do was help the people going up against these major corporations.” Since joining Oatley Vigmond, Kevin has used his insurance-industry experience to protect his clients and recover the compensation they deserved. He’d been at Oatley Vigmond for two months when he settled a matter for a client at a mediation. “You felt the burden of the litigation, and her injuries, lifting off her. I wanted to help even more people experience the relief of having their uncertainty lifted.’”

To learn more about Kevin, please click here.