Making Football Season Safer For Kids
With football season underway for pee-wees and pros alike, many parents have renewed their worries about head injuries associated with the rough-and-tumble pigskin pastime.
In August, the sport's governing body, USA Football, kicked off (har!) a new program to address, prevent, and raise awareness about these serious injuries: Heads Up Football. (Har!!)
With 3 million youths participating in football in the USA and 1.6-3 million sports-related concussions occurring every year, it's no small issue.
The immediate takeaway advice is startlingly simple, but that's often the case with everything from fire safety to water safety, right. It's the ole: an ounce of vigilance/prevention makes for tons of difference thing. (Forgive my mangling of the famous Ben Franklin adage.)
What you need to know if your little one is in a gridiron gang:
1. Know the signs and symptoms of a concussion. Headache or head pressure, nausea or vomiting, problems with balance, double vision or dizziness, memory problems or confusion, light or noise intolerance, and generally not feeling "right."
2. Never hide a concussion. Check any impulses to be "tough" and to ride out an injury. If you suspect someone else has a head injury—speak up!
3. Learn (and teach) smarter tackling techniques. The program aims to train coaches from coast to coast on basic principles, which include "keeping feet set, hands sunken, the art of the back straight and the knees bent. The head is up at all times."
There's even an App for the issue — download the FREE Heads Up Football app to access articles on the topic, list of signs/symptoms, watch videos and more.