On September 15, 2012, a seemingly harmless Massachusetts pee wee football started making headlines when 5 players sustained concussions and were removed from play.
The game was between the Tantasqua Braves and the Southbridge Pop Warner, with hard-hitting Southbridge players causing two Braves (some of whom were as young as ten years old) to require assessments by emergency medical technicians in just the first quarter. Those two players were deemed potentially concussed by technicians and were promptly removed from the game.
But the injuries didn’t stop there. By the end of the game, Southbridge had racked up a 52-0 score, and had knocked 5 players out of the play. All boys were later diagnosed with concussions. Coaches for both have since been suspended for not reacting well enough to the mounting injuries. In defense of his team’s aggressive conduct, Southbridge’s coach remarked, “this is a football game, not a Hallmark moment.”
As a silver lining to this reprehensible event, reactions to the now-infamous pee wee game has been immense. The issue of concussions resulting from football games has already earned massive media attention due to the master complaint filed against the NFL on behalf of current and former players who have sustained traumatic head injuries, but now focus is shifting to children, whose heads are more vulnerable to injuries.
Now, schools all over the country are adopting more in-depth methods of screening for concussions during high school and pee wee sporting events. (our local Colonial School District, is even joining the movement) And the organization Health IMPACTS has designed the Student Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT-2), which can accurately evaluate a child’s head injury. The SCAT-2 is available as an application for iPads, making it a more accessible screening method.
An array of information on youth concussions can be found on the Carpey Law website. The anatomy of a concussion, treatment methods, and suggested measure to keep children safe from the long-term effects of head injuries. See those articles and many more for up-to-date information on youth concussions, and beyond.