California Educator

October 2013

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FFEATUREE E ATU R Changing the concussion discussion BY SHERRY POSNICK-GOODWIN The marching band hails the home team's arrival on the field. Cheerleaders feverishly hurl themselves into the air. Excitement builds and the game begins. After a long wait, football season has finally arrived. The roar of the crowd is deafening, and it drowns out the noise of two helmets colliding. A player falls and the crowd goes silent. The injured player is removed and the game continues. Coaches worry that the student may have sustained a possible concussion, but don't know for sure. The symptoms — dizziness, nausea and headache — could happen instantly upon impact on a Friday night, or they might creep up on a student Monday morning while sitting in algebra class. There's just no telling. One thing is certain: Concussion rates in school sports are skyrocketing, having doubled in the last decade. Once considered a minor injury, repeat concussions are now linked to long-term brain damage. They happen more in football, but occur in other contact sports, too. Women's soccer, for example, has the second-highest concussion rate. Then there's lacrosse, volleyball, basketball and wrestling. And that's where our story begins — with Jake Forgy, a young man who got his "bell rung," as they say, during a wrestling match last year. OCTOBER 201 3 Educator 10 Oct 2013 v2.1 int.indd 11 11 10/7/13 9:38 PM

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