CDC helps coaches recognize a concussion

CDC helps coaches recognize a concussion

Since Jan. 1, American Legion Baseball teams have been registering for the 2012 season and are in the process of holding tryouts and starting practice. But before Minnesota Legion Baseball teams can consider playing ball, both head and assistant coaches must receive training on concussions through an online course.

Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports is an online training course provided by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. The course helps coaches and parents recognize and respond to a concussion by featuring interviews from experts, descriptive graphics, real-life stories and interactive exercises.

“I thought the online course was quite beneficial,” said Darwin Berg, Minnesota American Legion Baseball state director. “It doesn’t pretend to try to make anyone an expert or a doctor, but it definitely provides an awareness of what to look for if there is a possible concussion and how to proceed.”

To date, 33 states, including Minnesota, have passed a law requiring all youth athletic coaches to receive training on concussions before hosting and attending tryouts, practices and games. The CDC makes this requirement possible with its Heads Up course, which is free and only takes about 30 minutes to complete. Take the course now.

“I think the main message (with Heads Up) is to not take any chances and don’t always believe the player even if he/she says they’re okay,” Berg said. “There are good procedures to follow if a coach suspects a concussion, including reviewing the symptoms with parents and suggesting the player see a doctor and obtain a doctor’s written permission to return to the sport. With today’s emphasis on concussions, any awareness training is good training for all coaches.”

The American Legion Baseball Subcommittee will discuss the CDC online course during the Legion’s Spring Meetings in Indianapolis, May 4-10.