New concussion test for HS athletes

SEEN THIS MORNING
November 10, 2008 8:27:45 AM PST
Lots of student athletes get concussions. But sometimes they're put back in the game before they've had time to heal. Just last month, Montclair High School football player Ryne Dougherty died from a brain hemorrhage resulting from a concussion.

Now, two groups are pushing for schools, parents and kids to be more aware of the risks at stake.

Students on the Ridgewood High School basketball team are taking a test to protect their brains.

It's called 'impact', a baseline test that measures cognitive skills.

The results will be used if they get a concussion on the court.

"Its a great program that reassures us and parents on when it's okay for a child to return to play," said Nick Nicholaides.

The test is given to athletes who play contact sports.

When a girl or boy gets injured and a concussion is suspected, he or she takes the test again. If they're performance changes the player's sidelined.

"If I do get a concussion and I do get injured, I know I could risk my future, so I think it's good we all take the test," said Jack Simmons.

The test is endorsed by the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey which says it should also be combined with an education program for coaches, parents and players themselves about the dangers of brain injuries.

To better protect young athletes with concussions, another group, The Athletic Trainers Association recommends schools adopt a written policy on when kids should be taken out of a game, including medical clearance before an athlete can return to play.

At Ridgewood high, a doctor's note is required and if they don't return to their pre-injury status, they're not allowed to return to play.

A tough policy but one the young athletes have come to understand and respect.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Scott Curkin

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