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Today's High School Football: Safer Helmets Lead to a Safer Game

Football: America's most watched sport! A game where camaraderie and team work truly makes a difference on the outcome of each game. Football is a group activity that challenges you to work together to achieve a common goal with your teammates, and as high schools begin to gear up for tryouts and training camp, teenagers who enjoy the game are getting more and more pumped about getting out on the grid-iron and making some plays!

There is no question that the game yields rewarding exercise to your health and body. Playing football at an early age can be a good source for:

  • Physical Activity: Being physically active through football lowers body fat, strengthens muscles, and increases the likelihood of continuing good health habits later in life;
  • New Friends: Football introduces young players to new social groups and to a set of coaches who serve as role models; and
  • Good Mental Health: Research shows athletes tend to have higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of depression.

Regardless of these benefits, to the kids, the game is about fun, friendships, and camaraderie.

But unfortunately, playing football, a contact sport, bears the risk of some unwanted pains or injuries. At the forefront of physical injuries one can suffer from football are concussions. The National Football League (NFL) along with its counterparts has brought serious awareness to the public regarding concussions in connection with playing football.

For the parents of young football players, it is almost always heart thrilling to watch their little ones make a great catch or key tackle in a game. Consequently, it is important to take action at an early age when it comes to teaching good sportsmanship and proper safety measures to our young ones and teenagers.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind next time you send your kids off to practice or a team tryout:

  • Have a pre-season health and wellness evaluation: Contact your kids' coaching staff and get involved. Take proactive steps to ensure the best practices are being offered and that your kids are in the condition they need to be before they take the field;
  • Perform proper warm-up and cool-down routines: Warm-up and cool-down exercises are crucial to muscle fitness and prepares athletes for their next rodeo;
  • Consistently incorporate strength training and stretching: Take about 10-20 minutes to break a sweat and build your heart rate;
  • Hydrate adequately to maintain health and minimize cramps: An important measure to prevent a drop in performance is fluids. When you train hard or play football, you sweat. You need to replace that loss of fluid (called rehydration). The loss of fluid also depends on the weather conditions: in warm environments you sweat a lot more: On a hot day, sweat losses are generally more, whereas on a cold day you might lose very little sweat. Your drinking has to make up for this loss. Keep some water around!;
  • Stay active during summer break to prepare for return to sports in the fall: Keeping kids and teenagers active year round plays a big role on their conditioning come football season;
  • And most importantly, Wear properly fitted protective equipment, such as a helmets, pads, and mouth guard: The common theme around the game these days is to tackle with the head up and do not lead with the helmet.

Football players, especially at a younger age, are very susceptible to concussions. A concussion is a change in mental state due to a traumatic impact that can happen during different times of the game. Not all those who suffer a concussion will lose consciousness. Some signs that a concussion has been sustained are headache, dizziness, nausea, loss of balance, drowsiness, numbness, tingling, difficulty concentrating, and blurry vision. The athlete should return to play only when clearance is granted by a health care professional.

Sometimes we can't control fate and accidents do happen. Speak with a sports medicine professional or athletic trainer if you have any concerns about football injuries or football injury prevention strategies. Don't let your local high school athletic department be negligent by not taking advantage of new technologies that are designed to prevent head trauma or any other injury. These accidents can be difficult to deal with unless you have someone guiding you throughout the process. If you're in need of some guidance, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at the Thomas Law Firm. And let the games begin!

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

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