SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – Football is one of the most popular sports in the country, especially for young boys. However tackle after tackle, year after year, those hard hits could impact your child’s brain.
“These repeated concussions, they can be subclinical- sometimes the kid doesn’t even know he’s having these concussions from repeated impacts,” said Jeff Suriano, a paramedic with Springfield AMR. “It’s a bruise to the brain.”
Boston University researchers looked at 40 retired NFL players. They found those who started playing tackle football before age 12, were more prone to brain changes. So 22News was working for you to reduce the risk of your child ending up the in the hospital.
Suriano said although risk can never be eliminated, it can be managed, starting with good equipment. After ten years of use, helmets are no longer considered effective for protecting your child’s brain. You should also make sure your child is trained on the proper tackling techniques, to reduce the force to their head and neck.
If a child becomes unconscious after a hard hit, they’ve most likely suffered a concussion and need to seek medical treatment. Although, that’s the not the only sign. Even if a player isn’t knocked unconscious, you need to check for a concussion. If the player has slurred speech, blurry vision, trouble remembering any basic information about him or herself, they need to seek treatment as well.
It’s also important to remember, the effects of a concussion can last for days, even weeks. So it’s important to keep an open line of communication with your doctor and to get regular check ups as your doctor sees fit.
Now a days there’s also a lot of new technology available, to help determine if someone has suffered a concussion. Springfield College, for example, uses helmet sensors. This small device links to a handheld monitor and tells physical trainers the force of an impact, and which area of the brain was affected.
To check the safety category of your child’s helmet and make sure it’s up to code, Click Here.