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Attorney General Warns Of Risks To Youth Football Players [VIDEO]

Marc Serota, Getty images

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is announcing a consumer alert on the risk of concussions to young football players. Schneiderman says head injuries, especially concussions, can happen at any time on the football field regardless of the type of helmet being worn.

Schneiderman wants parents of young players to know that any claims of a helmet labeled “anti-concussive” or “concussion-proof” may be misleading and potentially dangerous by giving players and parents a false sense of security.

Instead, parents, coaches and young football players should rely on tips and strategies to help reduce the risk of head injury. Some of these strategies include learning and recognizing the symptoms of concussion, minimizing head-to-head hits on the field, and enforcing stricter penalties for such hits.

“It’s important to remember that no helmet can fully prevent a concussion,” Schneiderman said. Ensuring that manufacturers don’t mislead the public and endanger young New Yorkers is a key concern for my office. Just as important, we must work to educate young athletes and their parents about how to reduce the risk of concussion and detect early warning signs o the field.”

Schneiderman issued the following tips to help reduce the risk of head injuries and concussion in youth football:

-Players, parents ad coaches must be trained on the symptoms and risks of concussion.

-Recognizing the signs of concussion and removing a player immediately is extremely important.

-New York State law requires that players be removed from play until they are asymptomatic for 24 hours and have written approval from their physician to return to play.

-The number of concussions can be significantly reduced with modifications to practice format and emphasis on penalty enforcement.

-Reducing the number of hits is instrumental to reducing the risk of concussion because of the cumulative risk from repeated hits. Limit the amount of contact in practice and forbid drills that involve full-speed, head-on blocking and tackling that begins with players lined up more than three yards apart.

-Players need to be trained to focus on techniques that minimize head-to-head hits. Coaches and referees must strictly enforce penalties against such behavior.

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