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Concussions happen at home too

February 9, 2024, 11:00 a.m. (EST)

With the Super Bowl just around the corner and the NHL season in full swing, concussions are talked about in sports virtually every day. Less talked about are all those other concussions that happen every day in Canada. In 2022, just over 573,000 Canadians aged 12 and older (about 2%) told us they suffered a concussion in the past year.

Almost one in four concussions occur during physical sport

Approximately one in four Canadians (24%) overall and two in three youth aged 12 to 17 (63%) who reported getting a concussion in 2022 were participating in a physical sport at the time of the concussion, such as playing football, hockey, ringette or skiing.

Although the task is often deemed innocuous, even mundane, almost one in seven Canadians who reported getting a concussion were doing chores around their home (16%).

Just over one in ten Canadians reported getting concussed during a car accident and 8% were concussed on the job.

Almost one-quarter of all concussions are due to a slip or a fall while walking

Almost two-thirds of all concussions reported in 2022 were due to a fall. Concussions due to falls were much more likely among seniors (86%) compared with youth aged 12 to 17 and younger adults aged 18 to 49 (around 52%).

Perhaps surprisingly, almost as many Canadians were concussed during a slip or a stumble while walking (24%) as were concussed in a physical activity such as skating, doing household chores or working at a job (25%).

Most Canadian who were concussed consulted with a health care professional within 48 hours

Over three in five Canadians (63%) who reported being concussed in 2022 consulted with a health care practitioner within 48 hours of the incident.

The final word goes to our colleagues at Health Canada, who offer some sage advice on concussions and symptoms.

A concussion causes changes in the way you think and feel. You could have a concussion even if you don’t pass out. It is always a good idea to have your doctor or health care provider check you.

It is also important to have someone observe you for a few days after you have injured yourself. Everyone experiences concussion differently and symptoms can take hours or days to develop.

Most people recover in 10 days to 4 weeks, but recovery times can vary. Children and youth typically take longer than adults to recover from a concussion.

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