The risk of concussion when playing football or other contact sports can be a real concern for parents of young athletes. This feature with coaches, parents, a sports medicine physician and State Representative Chris Dorworth provides answers about how to recognize the symptoms and how to protect against concussions. Feature length – 25:52
Selected Photos – Charles E. Miller
It is the beginning of the football season from Pop Warner to the NFL. Football at any level is a high impact sport that can carry a special danger of head injuries. New medical studies have raised concerns about the danger of concussions in young people who play contact sports. The Center for Disease Control estimates 135,000 children between the ages of 5 and 18 are treated in emergency rooms each year for sports-related concussions. A study from 1997 to 2008 of 150,000 high school athletes playing 12 different sports showed that football alone accounted for 53% of the concussions that occurred. High school student-athletes who suffered two or more concussions were more likely to report physical, emotional, and cognitive problems, according to a study in the medical journal Neurosurgery.
The Center for Disease Control has posted a fact sheet on concussions for players and parents which can be accessed at this link to their website.
The CDC offers a similar check sheet for coaches and team leaders at this link.
Mid-Florida Pop Warner is the organizing body for the 31 teams that play Pop Warner football in Central Florida. Each team plays an 8 game schedule with weeks of practice before the season starts. Their coaches and team moms all receive training in recognizing concussions and provide equipment to protect the players.
High school athletes in Seminole County are giving a baseline test called IMPACT so that in case of a head injury their recovery can be judged against their responses pre-injury. In the 2011 legislative session, House Bill 301 was introduced into the Florida Legislature but failed to make it out of committee. It would have provided guidelines for removing athletes from play and having a doctors sign release to return in incidents of concussion. Representative Chris Dorworth of District 34 in Seminole County was co-sponsor of the bill. The bill may be reintroduced in the 2012 session. Many other states have already passed such legislation.
Additional Feature Information
MD, Seminole Sports and Family Medicine
President, Oviedo Pop Warner
Florida state representative (Lake Mary, Fl., R/district 34)
- Center for Disease Control (Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports)
- Oviedo Pop Warner
- Lake Mary Pop Warner
- House bill 301 in 2011
- Florida lagging behind on youth-concussion prevention (Orlando Sentinel)
Matthew Rosen, MD, Seminole Sports and Family Medicine and Desta Horner
Extended interview (13:19)
John Girard, president, Oviedo Pop Warner and Desta Horner
Extended interview (09:32)