BU and BMC Look Into Concussions in Football

The NFL is known for big hits, but these hits are leaving more and more players sidelined with concussions. This problem isn’t just at the professional level.

“We’re seeing concussions more frequently now and I think it’s a two-fold process with early recognition, but we’re also being cautious with our student athletes because there are a lot of younger folks playing sports,” said Dr. Douglas Comeau of the Boston Medical Center.

Doctors with Boston Medical Center and Boston University’s Ryan Center for Sports are researching the causes and effects of concussions.

“All that research right now for concussion is hopefully going to show we can help prevent things, but the best prevention is knowledge of being able to know when you’re concussed or how to help yourself when you’re concussed,” said Comeau.

They’re not the only ones looking to help student athletes stay safe on the field.

John, Chris and Eric are sixth graders at Sky View Middle School in Leominster. The trio is in the finals of a national competition that uses science and math to solve a problem in their community.

“But it was in the middle of football season and the news was highlighting concussions, so we thought we should do something on that,” said Eric Jenny, a sixth grader.

The students modified the helmet by adding extra padding to make it safer.

“It was based on the idea that you didn’t want as much force coming to the head directly through the hard shell,” said Eric.

The students have talked to a military helmet company and think it could one day help athletes.

“It could be used for football, but also hockey — the one we used was a hockey helmet,” said one student.

“When you see the pad on the helmet, the three 11 and 12 year old boys came up with this idea, it could be something that real professional athletes could use,” said Timothy Blake, principal at Sky View Middle School.

One of the best ways to protect kids is to be screened before there is an injury.

“Having some kind of baseline test will help us evaluating the student athlete when it comes time to be asymptomatic and for a return to play progression,” said Comeau.

The baseline tests are all available at the free 7News Health and Fitness Expo this weekend.

“The nice thing about that computer-based system is that it can go with them wherever they may go — matriculate into any university setting where they would have their baseline test online,” said Comeau.

Free baseline concussion screenings are available at this weekend’s 7News-Boston Medical Center Health and Fitness Expo. You’ll also be able to talk to doctors about preventing head injuries. You can also come and meet your favorite 7News personalities. The free event is held Saturday and Sunday at the Hynes Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To watch the video and read more: http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/health-fitness-expo-2013/10010928606381/bu-and-bmc-looks-into-concussions-in-football/#ixzz2WgYoPjMM

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