Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

August 2, 2013

Head injuries are serious

Players, coaches and fans got a scare when a Marion High School football player suffered a head injury during a game against North Central Conference foe Logansport in 2008.

The incident served as a reminder that athletic competition can be dangerous.

A 2008 New York Times report found that in a 10-year period, head injuries caused the deaths of at least 50 football players at the high school level or younger. Experts say young players are especially vulnerable because their brain tissue is less developed and more easily damaged.

That’s why at Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, NFL fans will see on-field stencils and end-zone banners promoting the youth safety program, Heads Up Football. The league announced Wednesday it would use its preseason games to raise awareness that using a helmet as a battering ram can lead to serious injury.

All Indiana schools now must monitor concussions suffered by athletes competing in football, as well as every other sport.

Senate Enrolled Act 93 of 2010 requires:

• Information be given to coaches, athletes and parents concerning the nature of concussions and health risks of continued participation after suffering such an injury.

• Athletes and parents give signed consent to participate in a sport, knowing concussions are possible.

• Coaches and officials remove an athlete suspected of suffering a concussion from practice and competition. Athletes must get written clearance from a health care provider before continuing participation in their sport.

Just three years ago, scientists funded in part by the NFL announced they found evidence linking head injuries in athletes to a condition that mimics ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. In every NFL locker room, players are reminded of the seriousness of concussions and to alert medical staff if they suffer symptoms.

Football players should avoid helmet-to-helmet collisions, and ball carriers should be taught not to lower their heads when making contact with a tackler. Whether blocking, tackling or carrying the ball, all players should be discouraged from using the top of their helmets.

Injuries are an unavoidable part of sport, but experts say most tragedies can be prevented with a bit of preparation and common sense.

The best way to avoid serious consequences is for athletes, parents and coaches to take these injuries seriously. Indiana lawmakers have ensured that they will.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Schools need kids' parents For school-age children in southern Miami County — and their parents — this is a seminal week. Classes start at Maconaquah schools on Friday.School starts for the rest of the Kokomo area next week.Before your children head back to school, ensure they

    July 29, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Pence, Bayh crowd field with questions In the 2016 political landscape, a pair of the state's political big dogs -- Republican Gov. Mike Pence and former Democratic U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh -- have potential candidates holding their breath and waiting on them. Until Pence says otherwise, he's

    July 29, 2014

  • LETTERS: No excuse letting trimmings rot at curb No excuse for letting trimmings rot at curbWe live in a recently annexed, east-side subdivision — a nice, clean, well-kept subdivision where almost all homeowners take pride in and maintain their homes and lawns.Before the annexation, we paid for our

    July 29, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: All things Hillary are not news, just distractions This column has nothing to do with who should or will win the presidential election in 2016. It has nothing to do with partisan politics of any flavor. This column does, however, assess how television is oversaturating the "news" agenda with countles

    July 29, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: World is rising up to meet Putin's thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 28, 2014

  • LETTERS: Parents taking fun out of youth sports Parents taking fun out of youth sports I enjoyed reading the article, "Nation's youth sports leagues on troubling decline," by Bill Stanczykiewicz, CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute, and the last paragraph, a quote by Dr. Bill Dexter, president of t

    July 28, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 28, 2014

  • WEEKLY WRAP: Legal marriages should be honored Legal marriages should be honoredAn eager and probably nervous couple stands before a minister or a judge or a county clerk and exchanges vows, accepting the legal, moral and ethical obligations of a marriage.The couple has properly obtained a marria

    July 28, 2014

  • Right-to-work unnecessary It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a “right-to-work” state.Whether Indiana ke

    July 27, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll