Thursday, June 14, 2012

Repost from Yahoo Sports > Rueters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The largest U.S. youth football program has instituted strict new regulations aimed at better protecting players from concussions and other head injuries, according the a report by NBC News on Tuesday.

Pop Warner, a nonprofit organization with football and cheerleading programs, is rolling out the new regulations amid growing concern about concussions at all levels of football. Some 2,000 former NFL players sued the league last week alleging it concealed the risk of brain injury from players.

Pop Warner's new rules would closely regulate contact during practice, which accounts for more head injuries than games, according the NBC's report.

It said most Pop Warner teams practice nine hours a week, and under the new guidelines only a third of that time could be spent in contact with another player. In addition, no head-to-head hits would be allowed and tackling could only be initiated within a three foot zone during practice.

NBC said there are more than 4 million concussions in sports and other recreational activities each year in the United States each year. Football accounts for more than half of those.

AHEAD OF THE GAME  by Rosemarie Scolaro Moser
A new look at understanding and preventing sports concussion in children and teens

Sports-related concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injuries, have become a national epidemic. As many as 63 percent of high school students have already had at least one concussion, while another 500,000 children between the ages of ten and fourteen visit ERs for concussion annually. 

New research has shown that there is no such thing as a simple “bell-ringer,” and that sending a child back on the field too soon puts his or her physical and emotional health at risk. Yet it is all too easy to miss the warning signs of concussion, or to encourage kids to “walk off” a potentially devastating injury.

Ahead of the Game is the first book to give parents of school-aged athletes the tools they need to keep kids safe on the field, court, diamond, or rink. Rosemarie Scolaro explains how:

• Helmets and mouth guards, even when properly fitted, cannot prevent concussion
• Concussions may negatively affect a child’s GPA, school performance, and emotional behavior
• Girls are more vulnerable to concussion than boys
• State concussion laws may not be enough to keep kids safe

Ahead of the Game clearly lays out the basics of identification, management, and treatment of concussion in kids, and details the vital steps we can take to protect their most vital organ—the brain—before an injury occurs.

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