WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) - A bruising moment on the gridiron can lead to a lifelong disability. There is a growing concern over head injuries resulting from football games.
The video shows the hit that sent Chicago Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler out of Sunday's game with a concussion, but it's not just in the big leagues. Friday night at Riverside High School, a Riverside football player and an Orchard Park High School football player each left the game in ambulances with suspected concussions.
Williamsville Athletic Director Dr. Jim Rusin said, "We decided we really needed to upgrade our protocol with head injuries."
Williamsville schools are being proactive about it. This year, for the first time, each Williamsville athlete had to take an impact test, a neuropsychiatric evaluation and series of questions to serve as a benchmark. If that athlete suffers a concussion, it would help determine what brain damage was done.
"We just really want to protect our kids, all kids, not just football kids, soccer and cheerleading, and it gives us more medical information that we need to keep our kids safe," said Dr. Rusin.
Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher said, "We know that we're now seeing dementia in former NFL players, but nobody knows when that started since kids get concussions in junior league, and in high school. So, we really need to know more from the beginning."
Dr. Satcher was at UB Monday night for an NFL Community Huddle to bring attention dementia prevention. Former Bills safety Mark Kelso brought the specially padded helmet he wore after a few concussions.
"There needs to be much better collaboration between the medical profession and engineering profession to make sure neurologists are making some recommendations to engineers who can put materials and technology on the field that will best protect athletes at all level," said Kelso.
Concussion prevention will be one of the topics at the Erie County Interscholastic Conference next month. For more information, check out these pages:
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