A GROWING PROBLEM?
Brook de Lench, founder of momsteam.com, believes concussions are a growing problem in football. But she thinks not allowing kids to play is the wrong reaction.
"We're going to have bigger issues as a nation if we don't have a sports outlet like football to channel the normal aggressive tendencies of high school-level boys," she said. "I don't know what other alternative there would be to football."
But de Lench, author of "Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports," does offer this advice to worried parents. Make sure your child's helmet is new or properly reconditioned, and fits properly. Know the symptoms of concussion, and be aware that delayed onset of concussion signs is common among youth athletes. Emphasize to your child that honest self-reporting of concussion symptoms is essential because ignoring them can lead to more serious brain injury and even, in extreme cases, death. In the event of a concussion, make sure your child gets the complete cognitive and physical rest needed to allow the brain to heal. That can mean no school, no video games, no television, no texting. Failure to avoid such activities can lead to a longer recovery time. Don't let your child return to play until all symptoms have cleared, has received written clearance from a medical professional and completed a program of gradual increased exercise without a recurrence of symptoms.