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Brooke de Lench
Brooke de Lench
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Playing from the Same Playbook on Concussions

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It is my belief that parents have a right to expect, when they entrust their children to a sports program - whether it be Pee Wee hockey, youth lacrosse, Olympic development soccer, or high school football - that it will take reasonable precautions to protect them against harm. In other words, parents have a right to expect that the entire team to whom they entrust their children's safety - including the national governing body for the child's sport, the state association, the athletic or club director, the athletic trainer (if there is one), and especially the coaches - are part of the concussion solution, not part of the problem.

That they will witness their child suffering a serious injury playing sports is a parent's worst nightmare. Like the vast majority of parents, the possibility of injury was always in the back of my mind when I watched my children play sports.

But because the signs and symptoms of concussions are not obvious as a broken leg or a sprained ankle and are often very subtle, because most don't involve a loss of consciousness, and because self-reporting by athletes is critical to the detection and treatment of concussions, the only way parents can sit in the stands without worrying sick about what might happen if their son or daughter suffers a concussion is if they know the program, and especially the coach, takes concussions very seriously and that every member of the team is using the same playbook.