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The Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society endorses USA Football’s Heads Up Football Program

The Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society has partnered with USA Football to advance youth and high school football player safety by endorsing USA Football’s Heads Up football program.

About 2,800 youth football leagues representing approximately 600,000 players in 50 states and Washington, D.C., registered for Heads Up Football in 2013 in a commitment to their young athletes’ health and safety. The program is being piloted on the high school level this fall in 35 schools spanning 10 states.

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The concussion doctor’s connections

Learn more about Dr. Robert C. Cantu’s relationships and connections.

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Football concussion lawsuits reach high school: Mississippi suit goes after NCAA and NFHS

Football concussion lawsuits have reached the high school game on a national scale.

A Mississippi father of a high school football player filed a class-action lawsuit this week against the NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations. The suit seeks to represent a class of all current high school football players in the United States as of December 2013.

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The concussion doctor’s tangled interests

He is America’s concussion doctor, a pioneer in the fight against sports-related brain damage. Dr. Robert C. Cantu is on call amid football’s concussion crisis: congressional hearings, courthouses, NFL meetings, helmet safety panels, operating rooms, research labs, television studios, film documentaries.

In the 45 years since he became a neurosurgeon in Boston, Cantu has become a fixture on the front lines of a public health campaign that is reshaping the way football in America is played.

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Youth safety program gets medical nods

USA Football’s Heads Up Football program has become the first youth sports program to earn official support from three major medical entities.

The American College of Sports Medicine, the National Athletic Trainers Association, and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society, organizations representing more than 80,000 medical professionals, have approved the youth football initiative.

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Report: Former NFL player’s body exhumed for brain study

The body of former NFL linebacker Jovan Belcher was exhumed Friday in order to perform tests on his brain, a lawyer for the player’s family told the Kansas City Star.

Attorney Dirk Vandever told the newspaper that Belcher’s family hopes tests will provide a clue as to why the four-year veteran of the Kansas City Chiefs shot his longtime girlfriend to death then killed himself about a year ago.

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New helmet technology could help in spotting potential concussions

A hard hit rattles a football player’s helmet, prompting vibrations in an  athletic trainer’s pocket. If the trainer wasn’t already, he (or she) starts  watching the player for signs of a concussion.

The wireless alert system from helmet maker Riddell is one of several  technologies aimed at spotting potentially concussion-causing head impacts. But  getting players and parents to try them remains a challenge.

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Hits to head still prevalent in NFL

Almost once a game, an NFL player absorbs an illegal blow to the head or neck that could put his career — or worse — at risk.

The NFL has been trying to prevent such blows over the past four years, targeting improper technique and making a point to penalize and fine players for hits that leave them and their opponents vulnerable. Yet an Associated Press review of penalties through the first 11 weeks of the season found those hits are still prevalent.

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Extensive study on concussions in youth sports finds ‘culture of resistance’ for self-reporting injury

Young athletes in the U.S. face a “culture of resistance” to reporting when they might have a concussion and to complying with treatment plans, which could endanger their well-being, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. The report provides a broad examination of concussions in a variety of youth sports with athletes aged 5 to 21. Overall, reported concussions rates are more frequent among high school athletes than college athletes in some sports — including football, men’s lacrosse and soccer, and baseball; higher for competition than practice (except for cheerleading); and highest in football, ice hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, soccer, and women’s basketball. Concussion rates also appear higher for youths with a history of prior concussions and among female athletes.

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What a concussion looks like inside your brain

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries have been receiving national attention lately. Former football players reached a $765 million settlement against the NFL stemming from a lawsuit where they claimed to have memory loss, depression, headaches and dizziness after multiple head injuries during their careers. It’s not just athletes; the U.S. Department of Defense estimates that 22 percent of all combat injuries are traumatic brain injuries.

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