Coaches, teachers trained to spot symptoms of concussions

EDWARDSBURG, Mich. -- As the new school year begins, Michigan teachers and coaches have a new responsibility. A new law requires students be removed from physical activity if they're suspected of having a concussion.

Coaches, school staff, and volunteers have to complete an online concussion awareness program.

And parents will be getting materials in the mail that describe the symptoms of a concussion. They're being asked to review and sign them.

"The big change for this year is actually, coaches are required to have some kind of concussion education," said Kevin Dean, Athletic Director of Edwardsburg Schools.

"All assistant coaches, JV coaches, middle school coaches, are all going to have to go through this training," said Jon Pryor, JV football coach of Edwardsburg Schools.

The new law goes beyond the football field and into physical education classes at all grade levels.

"A head injury can occur in PE class, it can occur on the athletic field, it can occur when you are walking down the hallway and just horsing around," said Pryor.

They are asking all of their student athletes to take a concussion baseline test.

"We developed that baseline so if there is a situation where a kid has a concussion, the doctor knows what the baseline normal is, and he knows when the kid is back to there and is safe to get him back out there playing in whatever sport that may be," said Dean.

The baseline test is just $2.50 per athlete and it takes just a few minutes to complete.

"It would not surprise me if within the next three to four years that they start making that more of a mandatory thing where the kids do the baseline because it is so really easy and really inexpensive to be able to do that. Just another way to keep them safe," said Dean.

Statistically, boys get concussions most often playing football or bicycling.

Girls get concussions most often when playing soccer, basketball, or riding a bike.

Common symptoms of a concussion include nausea, headaches, trouble sleeping, dizziness and an inability to think or remember simple information like your name, place or day.

If you think your child may have a concussion, take them to see a doctor immediately.

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