How to keep your child athlete safe from concussions - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

How to keep your child athlete safe from concussions

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Each year, more than three million student athletes suffer a concussion, and if your kids are involved in sports, there is always a chance it could happen to them, so it's important to be aware of the signs and effects of a concussion.

Under legislation passed last year, young athletes who suffer what appears to be a concussion or head injury have to be immediately removed from the activity and are not allowed to return until examined by a health care provider and given written clearance.

The bill was backed by the National Football League and Green Bay Packers and signed into law on April 2, 2012. It also requires education for coaches, kids and parents about the risk of concussion and head injury in youth athletic events. Mike Van Veghel, the head athletic trainer at Madison College, says officials are not required to have the education, but may be in the near future.

Van Veghel says the most common symptom of a concussion is a headache, followed by dizziness. He says there are a series of symptoms put into four categories: physical, cognitive, emotional, and sleep disturbance.

"For many years, there was thought that we should wake an athlete up every half and hour to an hour to make sure that we can arouse them, but we find now that if they sleep through the night it can actually be restorative and can help them re cooperate," Van Veghel said.

According to Van Veghel, the main rule if you think you or your child has a concussion is to check it out immediately. 

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