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Head Games: Concussions

By: Phil Jean Email
By: Phil Jean Email

Concussion is defined as a blow to the head that causes the brain to crash into the skull. On this play against UAB, Florida State running back Antone Smith was knocked unconscious and was found to have suffered a concussion, but these injuries are often not easily spotted on the high school level.
Brad Miles, head athletic trainer at Valdosta High Schools, says, "So many of the kids, unless you're a full-time trainer such as I am and get to know the kids personally. You may have a kid that has some symptoms, but you don't know if that's normal for the child or not."
Unfortunately, according to the National Athletic Trainers Association, 42 percent of high schools in the U.S. do not have a certified trainer like at Valdosta High or the high schools in Leon County.
Debbie Tolsma, head athletic trainer at Godby High School, says, "I get to know these students very well and so I know when they're acting a little strange, maybe combative, you know maybe just not themselves and that's when and they know I'm serious about concussions and spinal injuries and what not, so they know that I'm going to make sure that they're okay before the get to play again."
It's important to know if a concussion has occurred and whether or not those symptoms have cleared because concussions have a tendency to build on each other making risk of serious injury that much greater.


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