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Ohio is taking head injuries seriously for young athletes

We've heard so much recently about professional athletes and head trauma, especially in the NFL. Much of their advertising on the Super Bowl was based on helmets and head safety, and it has become clear that the league is taking the issue seriously. Now, the state of Ohio is making a play to do the same.

The Ohio Department of Health will be posting information online for the referees and coaches of young athletes to learn more about concussions and other forms of head injury. Additionally, a new law will take effect this spring that will require that coaches bench players if they have shown symptoms of concussions until they have been cleared by physicians. The coaches will have to be trained with information about concussions and how to spot the symptoms of these injuries, and parents will have to sign information sheets for their children to play.

The website features information about the identification of concussions and treatment options. Many people are not familiar with the symptoms of concussions, which include clumsiness, memory issues, headaches and loss of consciousness. Ohio is the next on a list of two dozen states which has enacted similar legislation for awareness and treatment of head injuries for children.

There is always a risk to be taken when playing sports, but properly dealing with a concussion can be the difference between a one-time occurrence and long-term and serious brain damage. Between 2002 and 2010, visits to the emergency room for traumatic brain injuries related to sports in young people doubled, according to the Department of Health. Obviously, these are serious concerns, and prevention is key for healthy and happy children.

Source: The Chillicothe Gazette, "Ohio talking head injuries," Feb. 4, 2013

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