Concussions in sports explained - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Concussions in sports explained

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Believe it or not, summer is coming to an end, and student athletes are busy preparing for fall activities but not without taking a few precautions.

High School Athletic Directors say they're seeing fewer student athletes turn out for high contact sports, like football, after Iowa passed stricter concussion rules back in 2011.

Fall sports are in full swing.

Aside from annual student physicals, coaches and trainers are now required to undergo special training to detect concussions in student athletes.

"It's very important so we know if there are any medical conditions the coaches need to be aware of or the athletic trainer or any restrictions on the participation. So, it's important we know that ahead of time," Cedar Falls Athletic Director, Gary Koenen said.

Koenen said if an athlete gets a concussion, they must be checked out by a licensed medical provider before returning.

"That could affect you for your lifetime if you have a multitude of concussions. I remember back in the day when you would have a concussion, and you would go right back in the next game or maybe in the next hour. There would be multiple concussions, and that would never happen again," Koenen said.

"Even though concussions might be more common in sports like football, Koenen says they're not exclusive to the more high-contact activities.

"In every sport you'd be surprised. There's concussions. There's 4 or 5 in football, you have 4 or 5 in soccer. Those seem to be the two main sports right there, but we had one in volleyball last year, and sometimes we'll have one in basketball," Koenen said.

In Cedar Falls, more than 600 student athletes turned out for fall activities this year.

Despite that number, Koenen said he's seen fewer football players turn out compared to previous years.

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