Concussion program aimed at young Arizona athletes - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Concussion program aimed at young Arizona athletes

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It's that time of year. High school football teams are preparing for their first games. But officials are also preparing student athletes for the inevitable concussions that go with almost any sport, especially football.

"We were the first to direct concussion education to those who we think it matters most and that is the high school athletes," said Javier Cardenas, MD, Neurologist Barrow Neurological Institute.

Barrow Neurological Institute, the Arizona Cardinals and the Arizona Interscholastic Association today unveiled new programs to educate students about concussions.

They're showing them this video showing a football player running and getting hit -- and what can happen to the brain as it's shaken inside a player's head -- causing a concussion.

"We have invested millions of dollars into the education and training of student athletes through USA Football," said Michael Bidwill, president of Arizona Cardinals.

Student athletes already get a free baseline test for concussion, along with a mandatory education program called Barrow Brainbook.

Dr. Cardenas says it's working.

"More and more young athletes are reporting their concussions to their primary care physicians, to their emergency room physicians and in fact, the brain clinic has actually doubled in its population over the last two years with concussion patients."

"When I had my concussion I had a lot of headaches 24-7," said Aaron Lundford, age 14.

He suffered a concussion while playing football at Mountain Pointe High School.

"I was emotionally unstable, I was confused everywhere I went."

Fortunately, Lundford got the help he needed.

"It's just doing the kids a favor of keeping them safe and limiting concussions."

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