Along with reducing the amount of concussions children will incur, Hockey Canada's recent removal of bodychecking for children under 13 will also benefit their hearing health. That's the opinion of MJ DeSousa, our Director of Professional Practice.
Bodychecking can result in a concussion, which is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a sudden blow to the head. The impact can cause the brain to bump against the skull resulting in a temporary disruption of the normal electrical activity of the brain. "This temporary disruption can become permanent with repeated concussions, which can lead to vertigo or ringing in the ears," MJ says.
So the ban on bodychecking — implemented in May after much debate and controversy — is a plus for the hearing health of Canada's children. But even without hitting, hockey players face the potential of hearing damage because of the physical and unpredictable nature of the sport. The truth is, it isn't only through bodychecking where injuries occur. Falls on the ice are routine in hockey, especially for those learning the sport. Players can accidentally bang into the boards or goalposts or even each other. All of those impacts can cause cumulative damage to brain function.
"At Connect Hearing, our hearing-health practitioners and audiologists suggest parents monitor all of the on-ice impacts their kids incur and be proactive about talking to their pediatrician about signs and symptoms of mild and more significant concussions and how to monitor and treat these," MJ says.
If you have any questions about hearing loss, book a complimentary appointment with any of our clinics across Canada.