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Health IMPACTS Lead the Fight Against Youth Concussions Epidemic

The website Moms Team reports that concussions occur at least once in every ten sports related high school accidents, and that youth concussions have doubled in the last decade. Millions of youth concussions occur every year, which has evidently led the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to now call the problem an “epidemic.”

So, what can we do to reduce youth concussion rates? 

It could be a great help to parents and educators in all states if we look to the more successful anti-concussion programs in the U.S. And the health IMPACTS project, located in Florida, is one of the best. Health IMPACTS is a study involving Florida State University, the University of Florida, and any parent, coach, teacher, or physician interested in doing their part.

Among other things, Health IMPACTS advocates for a better screening tool in the event of a potential youth concussion. The screening tool used by the project is the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT-2), which can be kept available and used during game to assess the severity of a head injury. However, a coach or parent can’t always have a paper form of the SCAT-2 available. That’s why Health IMPACTS has designed an application for iPads. Once the used inputs the information, the SCAT-2 assessment can be submitted to a physician for his or her medical records.

The Health IMPACTS team also studies the injuries of students who participate in the project, researching individual youth concussions to try and reach a better understanding of the injury, the impact of it, how best to treat it and facilitate a quick and complete recovery.

Health IMPACTS is gaining a lot of attention countrywide for its efforts to reduce youth concussions. The National Institutes of Health granted the project $26 million in 2009, following up the next year with a grant totaling $472,675. In addition, the state of Florida gave the program $600,000 in 2010 to help fund their work. This sort of support shows that youth concussions are receiving a lot of attention, and that projects like Health IMPACTS are conducting work which can effectively reduce the number of youth concussions nationwide. More states should follow their lead.

Protect kids from youth concussions

Moms Team reports that 16.8 percent of athletes from 9th to 12th grade who suffer a concussion have already suffered at least one concussion in the past year. This puts a large number of student athletes at risk for Second Impact Syndrome, a potentially traumatic, and even fatal, result of sustaining multiple concussions. If concussions are poorly treated, a student is at more of a risk of experiencing complications related to a second impact youth concussion.

For more information on youth concussions, see the other articles on the Carpey Law website. We have many articles on this subject, including:

 For even more information on everything from traumatic head injuries to car accidents in Pennsylvania, see our Blog Category page and browse our archives.

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