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Answering questions about concussions in football

It’s an annual tradition like no other. September in Pennsylvania means that football season is back once again. This means that high school teams across state, college teams, even the Steelers and Eagles will once again be delighting fans and making memories. While the action is thrilling, there are definite risks to playing the sport. In recent years, concussions (or at least the prevention of them) have become much more of a focus. However, the fear of concussion related injuries and long-term damage has led to a number of myths.

While many of the concerns raised about concussions are valid, we attempt to debunk a few of the myths in this post. 

Nothing can be done about the concussion risk – As you have seen in the rule changes in the National Football League, there are a number of things that can be done to make football safer. For instance, coaches have dedicated more time to teaching young players proper tackling technique, leagues have implemented baseline concussion tests, and more monitoring is being incorporated to protect against the cumulative effects of concussions.

Players who suffer concussions will suffer permanent brain damage – Indeed, the research findings with several deceased former NFL players suggests that decades of head trauma may lead to CTE, but the research is not developed to a point where it is determinative that one concussion (or even two) will automatically lead to permanent brain damage.

Only players are responsible for reducing concussions – There’s a notion that if kids don’t play football, they won’t suffer concussions. However, children can suffer head injuries in a number of sports, including cheerleading, gymnastics, soccer and hockey.

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