Parents learn about concussion safety from former NFL player - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Parents learn about concussion safety from former NFL player

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Former Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry teaches the Heads Up tackle technique Former Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry teaches the Heads Up tackle technique
Hughston Clinic representative Alex King teaches concussion warning signs Hughston Clinic representative Alex King teaches concussion warning signs
Riddell representative demonstrates the importance of proper fitting helmets Riddell representative demonstrates the importance of proper fitting helmets
COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Hundreds of parents and youth football coaches gathered at Carver High School Monday evening to talk about concussions, and they learned just how serious head injuries can be.

The Columbus Youth Football League partnered with the Atlanta Falcons and USA Football for the Heads Up parent information session, where they discussed every aspect of head protection from equipment to technique.

Former Atlanta Falcons linebacker and current USA Football master trainer Buddy Curry says, "Kids are getting bigger. They're getting faster, so the kinetic energy when there's an impact is increased because of those facts."

Curry says everything he grew up learning about making hits was wrong. Now he's helping people learn the right information about protecting your head by speaking to parents and coaches across Georgia.

"We actually learned that it's mostly important now with the youth, and that a concussion can happen in any sport," says CYF safety coach Spivey Green, "so now you've just got to be aware, making you more aware, more conscious of what's going on around you so we can protect these kids from major injuries."

Coaches can help identify concussions through memory loss, vomiting and a number of other signs that indicate they may need to go to the doctor and sit out a few games. Alex King with the Hughston Clinic examines local youth football players on a regular basis. He says you have to know the signs to prevent long-term damage.

"When they get that second hit and a second concussion before the first one has had a chance to heal, things become very serious at that point," says King.

Curry adds, "A few years ago it was a ding or a slight little mishap. Now we know that bad things can happen if there's a concussive event."

"You always worry about concussions because that's very serious," says president of CYF Julia Crocker. "We use what we call the 'buddy system.' If a child comes back to the huddle or doesn't seem to be acting right, immediately that buddy is supposed to let the coach know."

She says it's important to get the word out about safety and teach kids who play any sport how to keep their head in the game. "You don't want to wait until something bad happens," she says. "That training needs to kick in immediately."

The session is part of a national initiative by USA Football and the NFL to teach kids how to tackle with their "Heads Up." The NFL has already started fining players for using their heads to hit their opponents.

Around 1300 kids from the ages of 3 to 13 have signed up for the Columbus Youth Football League this season.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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