By Greg Gullberg
August 20, 2013
Valdosta, GA - It's the start of a new school year and Lowndes Vikings fans know that means football. But dreams can quickly be crushed by serious injuries, especially concussions.
Teams are preparing for a new Georgia law coming January 1st.
For starters, athletes showing signs of a concussion will need to be cleared by a medical professional to play, not a coach. And any athlete showing symptoms must be taken out immediately.
"It basically takes it out of the hands of the coaches and puts it into those of a health care professional who has training in concussion management and return-to-play decisions," said Philip Pieplow, head athletic trainer for the Vikings.
Pieplow says Lowndes is staying ahead of the law by already sending concussion information home to parents before their child can play any sport, as will soon be required. And teachers will take yearly concussion awareness classes.
"Basically defining what a concussion is, what warning signs to look for and what symptoms to look for," Pieplow said.
Concussion symptoms include dizziness, blurry vision, and nausea.
If multiple concussions go untreated, the long term affects can be deadly.
The new law will effect all Georgia schools, both public and private.
The Vikings, like many teams, have their first game of the season Friday the 30th.