Steelers coach educates youth about concussions

August 30, 2012

Topic: injury prevention

New football helmets may reduce concussion risk

When it comes to raising awareness about concussions, Mike Tomlin, who is currently the head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL, is all about educating younger athletes, as reported by CBS News. Along with experts from the University of Pittsburgh, Tomlin announced a program to teach kids about the seriousness of concussions and injury prevention.

Sports are a great way for kids to be active and stay healthy. However injuries happen - some more serious than others. All concussions are serious, and recognition of the right symptoms is essential in treating them and preventing further brain-related injuries.

"As a football coach, it is something that is humbling and an honor to be a part of to encourage safety in all levels, particularly head injuries," Tomlin told the news source.

The University of Pittsburgh's Sports Medicine Concussion Program was influenced by Michael Collins, Ph.D., an internationally renowned expert in sports-related concussions. In 2011, he helped Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins recover from a head injury.

Coaches who participate in the new program will receive a letter from Tomlin and Collins, a fact sheet about the program and posters to put up in their locker rooms with Tomlin's slogan to serve as a constant reminder to players to play safe.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that coaches teach their athletes how to play safely, especially since no technique or piece of equipment is completely effective in preventing a concussion. For instance, players should never lower their heads during a hit, and it's essential for them to understand the correct ways to block and tackle. Also, all helmets, which can make a significant difference in the outcome of an injury, should be properly fitted for each individual.

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