Concussion awareness still not ideal among youth coaches

In baseball, a slide into home plate can lead to a head injury. In football, an aggressive tackle in the open field can produce the same effect. Unfortunately, even when youth athletes are wearing the proper safety equipment, such as baseball helmets or football helmets, head injuries still occur, which is why coaches must be aware of proper practices for concussion screening. Unfortunately, many are not.

A recent study, led by sports automation business Korrio and Axon Sports, surveyed 250 youth soccer coaches and found that about half were not familiar with baseline concussion testing, which is commonly used to assess possible head injuries. Even though about three quarters of coaches said they were aware of concussion issues and a similar percentage said they had implemented concussion protocols, the figures are still concerning.

"With one in four coaches still professing a lack of awareness regarding serious brain injuries to young athletes, we believe there is still a lot of work to do," Korrio CEO Steve Goldman said in a press release. "That is particularly true with regards to baseline testing, which is a standard measure to assist medical practitioners in caring for injured players and making return-to-play decisions following a concussion."

A baseline test is used by medical professionals and coaching staffs to assess what an athlete's brain appears like when it is healthy. After a possible head injury, a brain scan can be compared with the baseline image to determine whether the athlete suffered a concussion or damage to the head.

Youth football helmets and youth baseball helmets have been shown to be effective at reducing head injuries, as a 2010 University of Pittsburgh study of professional athletes found that high-quality helmets reduced concussion risk by about one-third.

Along with enhancing their knowledge about concussions, coaches can keep their players safe by contacting an online provider of this baseball equipment and football equipment.