Proper response to concussions can help prevent further injury or even death.

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By Corey Long, FNF Coaches Correspondent

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention spells out the facts about concussions in conjunction with USA Football’s Heads Up program:

• All concussions are serious.

• Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.

• Recognition and proper response to concussions when they first occur can help prevent further injury or even death.

Concussions are not something to take lightly or try to “fight through,” and the best coaches agree.

“We want our guys to be tough physically and mentally, but I don’t mess around with concussions,” said Sean Callahan, head coach of Armwood High School in Seffner, Fla. “We have qualified trainers and when they tell me that a player might have a concussion we immediately sit that young man down and take the pads off.”

When left to their own devices many players won’t recognize a concussion. Some will not tell a coach or a trainer, but young athletes are beginning to get the message and understand that one or two weeks on the sidelines is better than a life of dealing with brain damage.

“I love football, I love sports but it’s only part of life,” said Derwin James, a top football prospect from Haines City, Fla. “No one wants to leave the field but sometimes you have to see the whole picture and understand that concussions are serious.”

About the author

Dan Guttenplan