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OP-ED: Protecting young football players from concussions
January 14, 2014, 05:00 AM Kansas City Star

The life-altering damages caused by concussions to National Football League players have received much attention in recent months, and appropriately so. The NFL for too many years ignored its responsibilities to better protect players.

However, tens of thousands of concussions and other brain injuries occur each year to football players at the college, high school and even peewee levels of the sport across America.

Parents, coaches and school officials need to be more involved in finding ways to prevent concussions. Coaches, along with trainers, must be aggressive in making sure players do not take part in games until they have recovered from possible concussions.

Baseline concussion testing should be required for all players at the high school and college levels because individuals react differently to brain injuries. The National Federation of High Schools and the National Collegiate Athletic Association should put together more comprehensive concussion education programs.

One barrier to progress: Players, parents and coaches sometimes don’t recognize concussions when they occur. Or, players want to or are told to “play through” head injuries.

That kind of destructive attitude can lead to permanently harming the health of a young football player. Get rid of the macho posturing in the sport, and take injuries to the brain more seriously.



Tags: players, concussions, injuries, coaches, brain, school,

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