High School Sports Follow in NFL's Footsteps and Take More Precautions to Prevent Injuries
If you're a football fan, then you already know the NFL is making major changes to protect players from serious head injuries and concussions. Thankfully high schools across the country are also taking that much-needed step in the right direction.
"The NFL is the tip of the iceberg, and it shines an important light," says Dr. Gerard Gioia, an associate professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine. "But if you look at the volume of kids playing youth sports -- not just football, but all youth sports -- there's 30 to 45 million kids playing, and they have the least-available sports medical knowledge and services."
The numbers speak for themselves: More than 45 young athletes have died this year and about 8,000 children are treated in emergency rooms each day for sports-related injuries.
"Youth sports participants are almost the forgotten population," explains Marjorie Albohm, president of the National Athletic Trainers' Association. "We've neglected a large amount of young people over the past years, and now it's time to change that."
Pop Warner now requires a doctor's note before allowing a student player with a head injury to return to the game. Also, New Jersey's Govenor Chris Christie made it a law this week that coaches must remove any player who shows signs of a concussion.