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As President Hosts Summit On Concussions, Local School District’s Policy Puts Training At Forefront

(credit: CBS3)

(credit: CBS3)

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By Matt Rivers

WALLINGFORD, Pa., (CBS) — President Obama is hosting a day-long summit on sports-related concussions to help keeps kids safe on the field.

As Eyewitness News reporter Matt Rivers shows us, one local school district has been at the forefront of the issue.

In the hard hitting world of high school football, concussions are a problem. And Strath Haven High School is dealing with them head on.

“The football community wanted some answers as far as concussions and we started working on some protocol,” Athletic Director Chip Carroll said.

So they instituted one of the region’s first and most comprehensive concussion policy. Coaches undergo mandatory training to spot the signs of concussions and remove athletes from the field when they appear.

“You can’t rush a kid back who’s not ready to go, I think the athlete’s welfare is most important,” Carroll said.

And while football might be the obvious sport that correlates with concussions, it’s certainly not the only one. In fact concussions are often seen in students participating in girls basketball, cheerleading and even soccer.

But according to the White House, the effects of concussions sustained in each sport are chronically understudied.

“We decided why not use our convening power to help find some more answers,” President Barack Obama said.

So the President announced a range of initiatives Thursday, including a $30 million study by the NCAA and the Department of Defense on concussion effects and treatment.

“As parents, though, we want to keep them safe, and that means we have to have better information,” the President said.

In the meantime, Strath Haven High promotes a culture where student self reporting concussions is encouraged.

“The key is I have to be consistent, talk about it more than once, they need to hear it and they need to know that I believe it,” Coach Kevin Clancy said.

An important step in an issue only beginning to be understood.