New Law For Cracking Down On Concussion Injuries

10:28 PM, Jun 13, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -Two years ago the South Carolina High School League made a rule that if a student athlete gets a concussion, they have to get the approval of a doctor or medical professional before going back on the field.

Now Lawmakers have added other requirements to abide by in order to help keep your children safe.

"It's their brain they only have one brain, we can't do brain transplants. We need to protect that brain especially when it is developing so that they don't have further issues down the line," said athletic trainer, Julie Sandy.

When it comes to football fans love to see big hits, but some of those hits cause concussions and could even lead to death.

"Something that we are use to calling getting your bell rung has now turned into a major medical problem," said Dr. David Scott, Concussion Specialist at Moore Center for Orthopedics in Columbia.

Scott says keeping athlete's safe starts with education.

"There is one particular phenomenon called second impact syndrome, where kids can even die if they return too early and take another bad shot to the head," said Scott.

The new law requires school districts to develop guidelines based on standards given by the department of education and DHEC. It also reinforces the league rule that all players must get clearance before returning to a game.

Sandy is an athletic trainer at Spring Valley High School and has seen these situations up close and personal.

"We have to provide education to the parent and student saying what a concussion is and what to look for. Then they have to return papers to us saying that they have received it and understand it," said Sandy.

"I got up and I started seeing green spots and I thought it was the ground but I was just really walking towards the sideline," said James Starks.

Our very own James Starks has played football both on the college and professional level.... And has had his share of concussions.

When he played he says they were taught not to tell coaches when their head hurt, but that's an unwritten rule that he discourages athletes from using.

"You have to find a way to teach kids to overcome that stigma. There is a fine line in being tough and being stupid," said Starks.

James was known for giving some big hits but he also took some as well and tells us that it has even played a part in his struggle with memory loss.

"It's not worth it because the risk of playing through a concussion especially with second impact syndrome where you can die from the next hit, if it is not properly diagnosed, its not worth playing through the fourth quarter."









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