Sports group takes notice of Starr's Mill concussion program - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Athletic association takes notice of Starr's Mill concussion program

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FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. -

Sports concussions are a growing concern for coaches and parents. If your team is not addressing the problem of concussions, they may not be doing enough to protect your child.

There's so much controversy surrounding football and the dangers of concussions. FOX 5 has found out many youth programs are still not doing enough to prevent and treat injuries the right way.

The Starr's Mill youth football team in Fayette County has led the push for a safer, smarter way to play.

Coach Mark Brown says the Georgia Middle School Athletic Association took notice of Starr's Mill's concussion prevention program and has expanded it statewide to 4,500 players this season.

Parents and coaches will be required to take classes to learn the symptoms of a concussion, and know when to pull a player from the game after a hard hit.

"We are fighting a lot of attitude of ‘shake it off, pull it together,'" said Angela Yi, Director of Neuropsychology at the Sports Concussion Institute.

It's a team effort. The Sports Concussion Institute is working to help other Georgia youth leagues understand just how serious these hidden head injuries can be.

"Younger brains are still developing, so it takes longer for younger athletes to recover from a concussion," said Yi.

"With the proper procedures and protocols in place and coaching methods, it's as safe now as it's ever been to play football," said Frank Carruba of the Sports Concussion Institute.

Last season, Starr's Mill even handed out custom fitted helmets to protect their players -- a move the coach hopes other teams follow.

"We are very excited about it with our league and the future, because we definitely don't want kids to not play this great, great game of football," said Brown.

Players with the Atlanta Falcons have even gotten behind a bill that would require players ages 7 to 19 to pass medical tests after a concussion before they can play again. That bill goes before the senate this week.

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