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UM Partners With MHSAA For Free Concussion Education

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ANN ARBOR — Required online rules meetings for Michigan high school coaches this fall will include a concussion education module from the University of Michigan’s NeuroSport and Pediatric Trauma Program at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced that its required online rules meetings for coaches and officials will include the Michigan NeuroSport education component illustrating the serious nature of concussions; recognition of the signs and symptoms and a review of return to play protocols.

“Education is a vital component to improving player safety,” says Amy Teddy, injury prevention program manager at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and director of education for Michigan NeuroSport. “We believe that ‘It takes a team to keep concussions on the sidelines.’ Parents, coaches, teammates, officials and athletic trainers all have a role in protecting athletes from serious injury. In addition to our coach modules, we recently launched our parent edition to help another member of the ‘team’ better recognize and understand concussion.”

This is the second year the MHSAA has included concussion education in its online rules meetings. This year, the Michigan NeuroSport Concussion Education — High School Coach edition, endorsed by the American Academy of Neurology last fall, has been modified for the MHSAA audience. The MHSAA will also promote the availability of the NeuroSport concussion education modules offered specifically for parents and coaches.

“These educational efforts, coupled with protocols addressing concussions when they take place on the field of play, put our schools in the best possible position to minimize the risk to young people,” says John E. “Jack” Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. “We’re pleased to have our new partnership with University of Michigan NeuroSport and our ongoing partnership with the Brian Injury Association of Michigan which put our state at the forefront of addressing the critical health issue for interscholastic athletes.”

Roberts added that the same educational materials the MHSAA has co-branded with its partners will also be used to help raise concussion awareness in other youth sports by other sponsors in the state.

The NeuroSport online programs for parents and athletes are available at http://www.MichiganNeuroSport.com  These free, interactive and user-specific courses, all less than 20 minutes, provide an opportunity to complete a 10-question quiz and receive a certificate of completion.

Michigan NeuroSport recently launched a module specifically for parents, in addition to the module available for athletes and coaches. The parent module also has been endorsed by the American Academy of Neurologists.

“Here at UM and Michigan NeuroSport, we know education is crucial when it comes to sports-related concussions, and we are pleased that an organization dedicated to  young athletes, the MHSAA, is making this a top priority,” said Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., assistant professor of neurology and the leader of the Concussion Program at UM. “Coaches, parents, teammates and the players themselves need to be aware of the risk and symptoms.”

NeuroSport has also produced a 60-second public service announcement in which one of the state’s all-time winningest football coaches — John Herrington of Farmington Hills Harrison — talks about concussions.  This video, along with a 30-second PSA recently updated by the MHSAA, “No Such Thing As Just Getting Your Bell Rung,” will be made available to media outlets in time for the coming sports season and will be shown during MHSAA programming online and on cable television.

Through Michigan NeuroSport, UM researchers and physicians are taking a neurological approach to diagnosing, preventing and researching concussion at the new clinic, located on the north side of Ann Arbor.

Just how concussion affects the brain has been a hot topic in recent years as the National Football League and National Collegiate Athletic Association have established committees to study how to best protect their athletes. Many state governments, including Michigan, are considering new legislation that mandates more concussion-related education for coaches and others.

The new online training module was developed by Chelsea-based Torrance Learning.

Additional resources are available at http://www.uofmhealth.org/neurosport .

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