Mary Shedden of Tampa Bay Online & msnbc.com has some thoughts on the concussion concern, and if it really is making a difference where it counts….the youth.
Unfortunately, that awareness hasn’t trickled down fast enough to the high school sidelines, where players and some coaches remain reluctant to report a possible head injury, says Jeff Konin, executive director of the Sports Medicine & Athletic Related Trauma (SMART) Institute at the University of South Florida.
Using this as the “problem” in Florida, Shedden goes on to trumpet the cause of athletic trainers at the high school level. Having one at each school is becoming a necessity. Although we STRONGLY agree with that statement, let us not forget that athletic trainers also provide an educational background to handle all sport-specific injuries. It just so happens that this health care profession is also VERY proficient in identifying and managing concussions.
Shedden also notes that Florida, like other states, is trying to pass concussion legislation, and with the help of the NFL/NATA cooperative this should be done in the near future.
At the end of the article Gianluca DelRosi, director of the University of South Florida’s Concussion Center, had a quote that we as the educated public need to shy away from.
“Maybe we can’t make changes with the kids playing now,” he said. “But we may be able to make an impact on Pop Warner or the new generation of players.”
We can make a change with the kids today! It is about the will and effort put in by those that care. It is not easy to change a culture, with parents and kids being the hardest to get through to, however just providing information is not enough. Actions is what will make this process go smoother; legislation, athletic trainers, academia understanding, media, the NFL, and all other resources must be used. We CANNOT give up on today’s kids, because in 40 years they may be dealing with ALS and Alzheimer’s.