Paige Havens

With more than 100 youth athletic associations serving our County, can you imagine how many coaches there are in our community? Some are purely volunteers that step up to help their child’s team, while others have professional training with years of playing experience. Different levels of play require different levels of certifications and licenses.

But there’s one kind of training all coaches should have if they oversee a youth sports team. That’s concussion awareness training!

Whether it’s officially “required” of them or not, it ‘s a must if parents are entrusting coaches with the safety and well being of their children. The CDC’s Heads Up program makes it very easy for coaches to get the basics. They offer a free online course that allows coaches to help create a safe environment for young athletes so they can stay healthy, active and thrive.

The course helps coaches understand what a concussion is and the potential consequences of a head injury. They learn to recognize concussion signs and symptoms and how to respond best when a concussion is suspected. Coaches are also taught the steps necessary to safely return an athlete to play and ways they can focus on prevention and preparedness to help keep athletes safe season-to-season. When coaches have this knowledge, they are well positioned to help improve the culture of a concussion that impacts your child’s health at both practice and in competitive play.

So, coaches, it’s time to make concussion training a top priority! No matter the age of your players or level of play you lead, it’s important you know how to protect your athletes from brain injury. It’s up to you to give your team a Heads Up against concussion. All you have to do is visit Complete the training, take the quiz and earn your certificate all online from the comfort of your own home. It’s quick, easy and truly could be life-saving! While you’re there, be sure to check out their information on helmet safety and the great educational resources you can print out and customize for your team.

Parents – If your child plays organized sports of any kind, be sure to ask to see your child’s coach’s concussion training certificate. Don’t let your child play under someone that doesn’t take concussion seriously. And you should take the training too. The more we all know about concussion, the more protected our children will be.xxxxx