Reducing concussions in youth football leagues

August 29, 2013 8:54:05 PM PDT
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 170,000 youth-sports-related head injuries are treated in emergency rooms in the U.S., and even that number is a moving target.

Youth football leagues are now taking notice.

The Warminster Pioneers of the Keystone State League are part of Heads Up Football, a nationally accredited course teaching coaches concussion awareness and how to reduce head injuries.

"It all starts with the breakdown. It's a gradual, step-by-step process leading with your head up instead of the old-school day of put your head down and wrap," said Pioneers Athletic Director Ray Savage.

"I love the game of football and I love that my son plays football. But we always want to make sure that we're in step with the safety that's going on with the NFL, college football. We just wanted to make sure we're top-of-the-line with them," said Pioneers President Melissa Gallagher.

The NFL is a strong supporter of the Heads Up program. The program isn't just for coaches, but also parents.

They need to know the proper fundamentals and the techniques to reduce head contact.

"I think it's a great program that they've brought in here, with the safety precautions and everything," said parent Dawn Propato.

Concussion experts say confusion, headaches, slurred speech and nausea are all symptoms of a concussion.

If you think your child has suffered a head injury, experts say the best course of action is to have them evaluated by a physician.


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