Letter: Adopt standards to monitor recovery
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Regarding Hugh B. Lewis’ Aug. 29 letter, “Football rules should be changed,” it is unfortunate that gridiron football is so late in acknowledging the danger of traumatic head injury. Every kid who plays any sport, from football to cheerleading, should have a base neurocognitive assessment, such as ImPACT, prior to participation and a SCAT2 test or something similar, at the time of any injury and tracked after that. In our current economic climate, that is unlikely until we have more instances like that which prompted the state’s Lystedt’s Law, which pertains to concussions suffered on school district property.
In the absence of legislation, each high school and below sport should adopt a strict standard, e.g., a minimum three weeks with no contact and no participation in vigorous activity until a physician’s assessment after the three-week period for any head injury.
The kids are playing a game. It is not worth permanent brain injury. I have too many friends who have to take a white pill every day for the rest of their lives because of concussions. The loss of a minimum three weeks out of a 10- or 12-week season may seem harsh, but permanent brain injury is harsher. It may also foster a change in rules or technique to reduce the instance of those injuries.