Pastime or Potential Trauma?

By Melissa Scott 

Hockey is Canada’s sport, a national pastime that lives in our minds as an idyllic Norman Rockwell like landscape. We picture a father and son skating on a lake rink, engaging in some friendly hockey practice or a stadium cheering their favourite team to victory.

As parents we understand the value of team sports and all the positive lessons that hockey can teach our kids – team work and sportsmanship, primarily. Of course there is the obvious fitness and health related benefits, more important than ever in an increasingly sedentary world. But rarely, do we ever take time to sit back and consider the serious risk of traumatic brain injuries, more commonly known as concussions.

In both youth and adult league play, sports-related concussions are making headlines. Too often, concussions and other brain trauma go undiagnosed, not because of the medical community, but because those injured don’t bother to seek medical attention, thereby worsening an already volatile situation. Because a concussion doesn’t have a visible impact such as a bloody nose, black eye, or broken finger, athletes don’t even realize they have suffered an injury.

In December 2011, the NFL began using “independent certified athletic trainers (ATC spotters), placed at every NFL game to serve as another set of eyes, watching for potential injuries.” By early 2012, the NFL had also implemented a video component which allowed them to closely review and scrutinize questionable plays. Blake Jones, director of NFL Football Operations stated, “What we found was doctors and trainers either miss injuries on the field because they’re dealing with other players or they have an obstructed view.” The same is true in minor league sports – there are only so many coaches and referees and it is difficult to carefully watch each child for potential injuries.

Following the NFL’s lead, in as September 2015, the NHL announced they would employ “concussion spotters” whose sole responsibility would be to observe the players during each game for any indication of traumatic brain trauma and bring that to the attention of the team’s medical and coaching staff.

Concussions present a myriad of issues, one being that they often go undiagnosed. Commonly People believe that concussion often result in a loss of consciousness or “seeing stars”, but what most individuals don’t understand is that “about 95% of concussions occur without loss of consciousness.” It is easy to understand why so many athletes simply head back into the game, because they don’t realize or appreciate the serious, and potentially life-threatening trauma they’ve just endured.

If you or your child was injured playing hockey or another sport, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Millars Law to see if you may be entitled to compensation for an injury to you or your loved one.

Recovering from a traumatic brain injury can not only be long, but also expensive. It may be difficult for someone who has suffered from such an injury to pay for the appropriate treatment. This is even more exacerbated when the injury has left you or your loved one unable to work and live as they did before the injury. A traumatic brain injury doesn’t only affect the individual with the physical injury, but can have a lasting impact on those around them. If you haven’t planned for this type of situation, which is becoming more and more commonplace, be sure to contact Millars Law to see if you may be a good candidate for a personal injury lawsuit. We can evaluate your current situation and help you regain control of your life and plan for your future. Contact Millars Law by calling 519-657-1529 or by visiting our website at for guidance and a free consultation.

In the meantime, consider some of the following tips from the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) 5 in regard to helmets:

1. Make sure it fits! It should fit snugly.

2. Always follow the manufacturers instructions for fit and use.

3. Make sure your helmet bears the manufacturer’s identification number. You should be able to

easily find the model, size and limits of the protections on the helmet.

4. Always make sure the strap is fastened – this should be the first thing you do after you put the

helmet on your head.


Our mother’s adage has never been more true, “better safe than sorry”. Be sure to get yourself, or your

child checked out by a medical professional. Call us to schedule a free consultation should you or a

loved one find yourself affected by a concussion. Remember, helmets aren’t just for hockey, and they

aren’t just for kids…

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