In 2012 alone, kids aged 19 and younger made up an estimated 329,290 cases of traumatic brain injuries. This involved concussion from sports and other recreational activities, reports the CDC. With impacts and falls as the top causes of brain injuries, concussion training and education for teens is essential to teens maturing brain and behavioral health.
Beginning in December 2018, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and TeachAids have partnered together to announce the country’s first state-wide implementation of high school level concussion training.
“Arkansas is setting a precedent for the rest of the nation in providing cutting-edge VR education to its students,” stated Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Through our unique partnership with TeachAids, this groundbreaking concussion education experience will empower young people to solve real-world problems in our increasingly technology-driven society.”
Concussion Training for Teens is a Must
A bone break, a cut, and bruising are clear signs that an injury has occured. What about injuries beneath the surface, like with the brain? Besides doctors and trained professionals, concussions and brain injuries are practically invisible to almost anyone who doesn’t know which symptoms to look for.
Many times, even the person with the concussion is left untreated because of a lack of awareness. Simply put, they just don’t know the signs of a head injury or concussion and what that feels and looks like. Dangerously, 3 out of 5 teens will play sports and go about their everyday lives with symptoms occurring.
Moreover, many student-athletes have a lot riding on the game or season at hand. This can mean that they have school scholarships to maintain, a team leadership position, or just don’t want to let the team down as reasons for why they brush off seemingly minor issues.
Even those not involved in sports are vulnerable to head impacts and falls. Sometimes events unrelated to sports, like clumsiness, impacts are from car collisions, and other mishaps are the culprit for head injuries.
Teens Learn By Virtual Example
TeachAids’ CrashCourse in Concussions was created based on Stanford University research and has recently partnered with the youth football organization Pop Warner. As a Facebook sponsored VR initiative being taught throughout all Arkansas high schools, students will learn how to recognize key indicators and symptoms of concussions and brain injuries using Oculus Rift VR headsets.
Teens view immersive and interactive segments and role play as a football player who has multiple impacts in a game. After disorientation from a linebacker hit, the student then has to choose to take a knee or to stay in the game.
If the player chooses to stay in the game they’ll be hit again. As a result, another fall and then a blackout occurs. Players awaken at a doctor’s office and are diagnosed with a concussion.
Speaking from experience, the training simulator is led by football players from Stanford. Their explanations help teens recognize visual and physical symptoms like disorientation, visual disturbances, and headaches.
With a doctor at the helm of this VR concussion education simulator, teens are in good hands. “We are proud to partner with the state of Arkansas in this historic progression for concussion education, and applaud Governor Hutchinson for his leadership in prioritizing unique learning opportunities for young people,” said Dr. Piya Sorcar, Founder and CEO of TeachAids.
“Working together with local government and other key stakeholders, we will be able to enhance the way we teach kids about concussions for generations to come,” Dr. Sorcar announces.