4:44 PM EDT, July 31, 2012
Preventing brain injuries -- that's why dozens of high school sports leaders met at Virginia Tech on Tuesday for what's called the Concussion Summit.
Coaches, athletic directors and trainers came together to find out new and better way to protect young players.
Concussions tend to be associated with the game of football, but serious brain injuries can occur during any team sport.
Players with a brain injury often ask the same questions over and over again.
Dr. Delmas Bolin, Director of the Center for Sports Medicine in Salem, explains that a concussion is a brain bruise.
"Each concussion is unique and it's unique not because of the impact but because of the structures that are injured," Bolin said.
Coaches and athletic trainers have to be vigilant.
"60% of the concussions are reported 10% of the time," athletic trainer Chris Tucker said. "These players want to play. These parents want these kids to play, and you're going to hear about it 10% of the time. Be very careful."
These are some signs of a concussion: confusion, memory loss, slurred speech, nausea/vomiting, headache, dizziness.
Dr. Stefan Duma also shared some of his extensive research on football helmets and impacts.
"Lowering head acceleration, lowers your risk," Duma said.
Awareness like this is what's helped local sports programs form policies to help prevent these type of injuries.
"We require all of our athletes to come to a concussion meeting before they start the sport," Chuck Pound, Lord Botetourt's athletic director said. "Cheerleading you know they're going to fall. They're going to get hit. They talked about soccer, basketball."
These coaches will take this information back to their schools to see if there's a way to improve their current policies.
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