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National concussion expert says injury rates are declining

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DENVER -- Whether it's football or any other sport,  keeping your child safe from concussions means staying up to date on the right way to protect them.

Dr. Dawn Comstock, Asociate Professor of Epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health, will present a lecture tonight at the Tivoli Student Union (Room 320A Baerresen Ballroom) on the Auraria Campus.  The event begins at 7pm and is free and open to the public  (registration is required at https://gswebapps.ucdenver.edu/minipub/register ).

The idea is to educate parents, coaches and others who work with teen athletes about how to prevent concussions.

Comstock is a national expert on concussions and was recently invited to the White House where she participated in the President`s healthy kids and safe sports concussion summit.

“Far too many young athletes are injured simply playing the sports they love,” Comstock said in an interview ahead of her talk.

Comstock said that nationwide 162,000 high school football players sustained concussion last year, but new studies show things are starting to turn around.

After eight consecutive years of increasing concussion rates last year there was actually a decrease.

Researchers attribute the drop in cases to improved public awareness about how concussions happen and how to prevent them.

“The most important thing parents can do to keep their kids safe is to make sure they understand how to play the sport they're playing, that they know proper techniques,” Comstock said.

Many coaches are adopting methods to teach teens how to tackle safely avoiding the head area and part of the national Heads Up football program.

Wearing protective gear is also important.   Doctors say if your child experiences swelling on the head, dizziness or nausea after a hit, get to a doctor right away.

The sooner they receive treatment, the better their chances of full recovery.  For more information about concussion prevention visit http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/sports/prevention.html

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