Every 25 seconds, one child goes to an emergency room with a sports related injury.
Lawmakers in every state have passed legislation dealing with concussions. Now, coaches are taking it upon themselves to tackling the issue of sports related injuries.
Some coaches who work with children from grade school to college are signing a pledge, committing to the health and safety of their players.
Concussions are the biggest concern. If not handled properly, lives are at stake.
Drew Ferguson, sports medicine director for Children’s of Alabama hopes the “get back out there” mentality is long gone, when dealing with concussions.
“We all have to be smart about it,” says Ferguson. “Coaches are much more aware and they are required by the Alabama High School Athletic Association each year to go through a concussion awareness course.
In 2011, Alabama passed a law stating, if any child — K through 12 — has concussion- like symptoms, that player must be taken out of the game immediately.
“They can’t return that day and can’t return to practice or play until they are cleared by a physician.”
Recently, Michigan football coach Brady Hoke drew criticism when he decided to keep his quarterback in the game after the player appeared to have suffered a concussion.
Injuries like this one and how they are handled should concern every parent and every coach.
Coaches from all levels came together to sign the National Center for Sports Safety pledge.
“The most important things about concussions now, are people are aware of this.” Dr. Larry Lemak, founder of the NCSS said.
Lemak says this pledge can help put parent’s minds at ease.
“(Parents) want to make sure (coaches) do everything safe when their kids are out there playing for them.”
Miles College assistant head football coach Tony Oglesby believes the responsibilty should be on the coaches.
“They (should) look for any type of signs that this young man or this young woman is not doing something right, is not looking right.”
But it’s not just football. Jarvis Wilson is the girls’ basketball coach at Carver High School.
“(The girls) play the game very hard, the same way as guys do. And they’re more vulnerable to some incidents.”
Lemak says ultimately, “They’re not going to take risks to win a game and risk a child’s safety.”
This pledge is getting attention from some pretty high profile coaches as well. Nick Saban, Gus Malzahn both have signed the pledge and challenge other coaches across the state and the country to do the same.