Jan 29, 2015
College Coverage For Youth Football

This football season, athletic trainers from the University of South Carolina will be following players from a local youth league to treat and track injuries, including concussions. Funded through a $58,000 grant from USA Football, South Carolina is one of six states conducting research on concussions and every team in the Lexington Youth Football League will receive coverage from the University of South Carolina athletic training program.

Using accelerometers placed behind the players’ ears that measure force during collisions, the athletic trainers track head injuries, including concussions. Then, that information is downloaded to a computer that tracks the forces players sustain in practices and games.

“About 10 percent of the kids in the leagues we are covering get injured, of those about three percent are concussions,” Jim Mensch, PhD, ATC, Athletic Training Program Director and Clinical Associate Professor at South Carolina, told WLXT.com. “These kids get hit and they get injured and we don’t really have the information about the types of injuries they are sustaining and the long term potential effects. We just don’t know, and that’s why it’s so important to have this program here.”

“One of the biggest problems with concussions is that once you have one, you are more likely to have another one in your lifetime,” South Carolina Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer Miranda Jensen, ATC, told WLXT. “So, if you start getting them when you are eight years old, you are at a better chance of getting them throughout your career … If these kids are getting big hits and their brains are still at a stage of development, then that’s something that we need to be aware of and see if we can help prevent and or make better guidelines for these athletes.”

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