Kids are extremely active. More than half of children play a team sport. Many more enjoy playground games, biking and other activities. These active kids are at risk for injury. But compared to older athletes, they don’t often receive concussion services until after an injury occurs.
With TRIA’s pediatric baseline testing, this no longer has to be the case. Our Sport Concussion program aims to help kids safely enjoy the activities they love.
What are baseline tests?
Baseline tests measure brain ability and function. They are often given as a “pre-injury test.” This data can be compared to post-injury tests. The comparison can help identify a concussion and create a recovery plan in the event of an injury.
“Young athletes have a higher risk of injury with their developing brains and immature bodies,” says Aimee Custer, PsyD and Clinical Director of TRIA’s Sport Concussion Program. “Baseline data can help us decide how to safely return kids to school or play. It can help guide us to the right treatments.”
A baseline test made all the difference when a 9-year-old patient came to see Dr. Custer. This patient’s post-injury test scores were in the average ranges. But the patient’s baseline scores were high average. Without baseline scores Dr. Custer may have thought the average scores were normal. The comparison between baseline data and the post-injury test helped identify areas of concern. The test helped provide the correct help in school and recommended treatment. The patient is now fully recovered with scores matching the baseline test once again.
Baseline testing at TRIA
Baseline testing at TRIA goes beyond the test. Every test also includes learning materials for kids and parents.
“Prevention and education are very important. This means educating parents. It includes teachers and volunteers who may have recess duty as well,” says TRIA Athletic Trainer Christina Neville.
Dr. Custer suggests yearly testing until age 13. This is due to a child’s brain development. After age 13, she advises tests every two years.
Any child can get a baseline test. Dr. Custer especially suggests the test for:
- Highly active kids
- Kids involved in high risk sports like soccer, football, hockey or circus
- Kids identified as low average or high average in academics
- Kids diagnosed with a learning disability or attention deficit disorder
The affordable, FDA cleared, 15-minute children’s baseline test is called Pediatric ImPACT. It is made for kids 5-11 years old. The test uses game-like activities on an iPad to assess memory and attention. It also measures processing speed and reaction time. It includes a symptom checklist for both kids and parents. TRIA also provides tests for athletes 12 years and older. Call 952-977-0467 to schedule baseline testing today or visit our webpage for more information.