Posted on

It’s Not That Football Anymore , its a whole new style of play

jack Tatum

photo Jack Tatum

September 9,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, it is back to school and the start of High School Football season .The latest media rage is the continued focus  on player safety and concussions . While many parents continue to voice concern about football safety . Other sports like soccer and lacrosse have proven to be equally as dangerous .

On September 5th Dr. Bennet Omalu  told the Today show : “Knowing what we know today, there is no reason whatsoever that any child under the age of 18 should play the high-impact, high-contact sports. The big six are: American football, ice hockey, mixed martial arts, boxing, wrestling and rugby. Blows to the head are intrinsic to the game. That truth could be inconvenient, painful and difficult, but we should not deny it. “https://www.today.com/health/concussion-doctor-warns-against-contact-sports-kids-t115938

So is no sports really the answer ? After all On August 18, 1967, the Red Sox were playing the California Angels at Fenway Park. Tony Conigliaro, batting against Jack Hamilton, was hit by a pitch on his left cheekbone and was carried off the field on a stretcher. He sustained a linear fracture of the left cheekbone and a dislocated jaw with severe damage to his left retina. The batting helmet he was wearing did not have the protective ear-flap that has since become standard. So even baseball can be dangerous .

Perhaps it is my age or just a different point of reference  but growing up we never wore helmets on bicycles , we drank water from a hose , swam in Saddle River ,ate trout we caught  and some how all lived to tell about it .

I can still remember August 12, 1978,  “Oakland Raiders free safety Jack Tatum levels New England Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley with a helmet-to-helmet hit in a preseason game, leaving Stingley paralyzed for life. Despite the sport’s hard hits and reputation for roughness, this was the first and only time a player was permanently paralyzed as a result of an injury sustained in a National Football League game.” -history.com.

So is it really true as Dr. Bennet Omalu said that “Blows to the head are intrinsic to the game”  ? We placed a call to councilmen Ramon Hache who is very involved in Village sports programs especially football to get his take . Ramon reminded us that things have changed , that do to the size ,speed and weight of the players its not the football we grew up with . That players got bigger and faster and equipment didn’t seemed to up grade as quickly. Ramon stressed that awareness and training is the key to safety and reminded me the new game is often played more like Rugby or the old leather helmet football when tackling was or is much less dependent on equipment then technique .

photo Raised a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, Jim Thorpe was America’s original crossover athlete. As an Olympic champion, football player and baseball star, he excelled in nearly every sport he tried.

Even RJFA PeeWee Football coaches now have to have a Youth Tackle Coach Certification even before they take the field. It is also It is mandatory for all RJFA coaches to be certified for HUF (Heads Up Football)  .

Shoulder Tackling and Blocking
Health and Safety
Fundamentals of Coaching

Coaches also must be Rutgers S.A.F.E.T.Y certified  . As we figured Ridgewood parents would do everything possible to assure the safety of their children , so mothers can feel confident everything is being done and then some to keep your child safe .

Let face the value of team sports for children has been well documented and it would be a shame to lose these benefits

Children who take part in organized sports receive many social, mental and psychological benefits over and above those that come from general physical activity.

Healthy habits

Starting a child in an organized sport gives them a healthy habit of physical activity to see them right through to adulthood and help them ward off many age- and weight-related ailments. Even before adulthood, teens who take part in sports are less likely to smoke, do drugs or abuse alcohol.http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/HealthandWellness/PhysicalActivitySportsandFitness/Pages/participating-in-organized-sports.aspx

Self-discipline

Learning the rules and techniques of a new sport and training for a particular purpose can give a child self-discipline that they can employ both on and off the field. Sports often help children learn that working hard helps them to achieve a goal.http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/HealthandWellness/PhysicalActivitySportsandFitness/Pages/participating-in-organized-sports.aspx

Social skills and teamwork

When many people think of organized sports, team sports often spring to mind. Sports such as baseball, hockey or basketball can teach children to trust and rely on others to achieve common goals, value everyone’s individual strengths and put collective needs before individual wants.http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/HealthandWellness/PhysicalActivitySportsandFitness/Pages/participating-in-organized-sports.aspx

Improved mental health

Taking part in a sport can greatly improve a child’s sense of self-worth. Whether it is the satisfaction of mastering a dribble or beating a personal best, sports-related exercise enables children to gain confidence in their skills. In an era of excessive focus on appearance, sports also provide an outlet for children, especially girls, to focus not on what their bodies look like but on what they can do. This has the knock-on benefit of improved body image.http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/HealthandWellness/PhysicalActivitySportsandFitness/Pages/participating-in-organized-sports.aspx

Sportsmanship

Taking part in anything competitive requires an ability to handle disappointments and accept personal responsibility for any mistakes. It can take a while for children – and some adults – to learn not to blame others when things go wrong. However, organized sports can teach important lessons about the value of taking part rather than winning and about using setbacks as learning opportunities.
http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/HealthandWellness/PhysicalActivitySportsandFitness/Pages/participating-in-organized-sports.aspx

 

Posted on

The Valley Hospital of Ridgewood is Offering Concussion Baseline Testing on June 29

r-FOOTBALL-HELMET-CONCUSSIONS-LOBBYING-large570

Parents, Coaches: Know the Risks of Concussions in Youth Sports

June 7,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, To assist parents and coaches in protecting young athletes from the serious head injuries that can result from returning to play too soon after a suffering a concussion, The Valley Hospital Sports Institute offers the ImPACT Concussion Management Test.  ImPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is an innovative computerized evaluation system that assesses the effects and severity of a concussion and helps determine when it is safe for an athlete to return to contact sports following a concussion.

ImPACT testing is suitable for athletes ages 10 and older.  Testing is appropriate in a “group setting” for athletes ages 11 and older.  It is a 20-30 minute neurocognitive test battery
that includes measures of verbal and visual memory, attention span, brain processing speed, and reaction time and balance.  If an athlete experiences a concussion, he or she is re-tested and the baseline data is compared to the post-concussion data to monitor recovery and to help determine when it is safe for the player to return to active sports.  This comparison helps to diagnose and manage the concussion.  Follow-up tests can be administered over days or weeks so clinicians can continue to track the athlete’s recovery from the injury.

The Sports Institute recently enhanced its Concussion Management Program with the addition of the Biodex Biosway Balance testing unit.  The test takes about 5 minutes and provides a psycho-motor assessment of concussion injuries.  Athletes should be tested in the preseason to gather baseline information that can be used for comparison in the event of a concussion to assess the extent of the injury and the athlete’s readiness to return to activity.

Since most high schools in the area have the testing in place already, the Sports Institute is providing this service primarily for the recreation and town-sponsored youth sports teams for athletes ages 11 and older.

The next scheduled baseline testing sessions will take place on Wednesday, June 29, at Valley’s Kraft Center, located at 15 Essex Road in Paramus.  Two sessions will be held on that date: at 4:30 p.m. and at 6:00 p.m. at The tests will be conducted in the 3rd Floor Computer Lab.

Pre-Registration is required, as space is limited.  The fee is $25.  Please call 201-447-8133 for more information and to register.

A concussion is a brain injury.  Concussions are most commonly caused by a bump or blow to the head, but, can also be caused by a sudden deceleration or acceleration of the head.  In either scenario, the brain, suspended inside the skull and surrounded by fluid, continues to travel with momentum until it “bangs” up against the skull – causing a brain-bruising injury – or concussion.  What may seem to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.

You can’t see a concussion.  Signs and symptoms of a concussion can show up right after the injury, or may not appear or be noticed until days or weeks after the injury.  If your child reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek medical attention right away.  Common symptoms include: headache, dizziness, feeling foggy, nausea, fatigue and confusion.  Common signs include memory loss, a loss of balance and coordination, and changes in personality.  Concussion severity varies widely, and the number of signs and symptoms vary also – serious injuries may show few symptoms.

Although less common, bleeding in the brain can occur with some head injuries.  Loss of consciousness, mental status deterioration and worsening symptoms raise the concern for a bleeding injury.  An athlete does not need to lose consciousness (black out) to suffer a concussion.  In fact, less than 10 percent of concussed athletes lose consciousness.

An athlete who suffers a concussion can be at risk for a condition known as Second Impact Syndrome if he or she returns to sports before full recovery.  Second impact syndrome is a life-threatening condition in which a second concussion occurs before a first concussion has properly healed, causing rapid and severe brain swelling.  Second impact syndrome can result from even a very mild concussion that occurs days or weeks after the initial concussion.

“Second Impact Syndrome can be prevented,” Donald Tomaszewski, Director of The Valley Hospital Sports Institute.  “Don’t allow an athlete to return to sports after a concussion until their symptoms have completely resolved and they have been cleared by a medical professional experienced in treating concussions.”

Posted on

Valley’s Sports Institute hosts Free Seminar on Concussion Awareness for Coaches, Parents, and Recreation/Athletic Directors

r-FOOTBALL-HELMET-CONCUSSIONS-LOBBYING-large570

February 6,2016

the staff of the Ridgewoood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  The Valley Hospital Sports Institute will host a free concussion awareness seminar for coaches, parents, and recreation/athletic directors on Wednesday, February 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the The Valley Hospital Auditorium.

Signs and symptoms of a concussion can show up right after the injury, or may not appear or be noticed until days or weeks after the injury.  Concussion severity varies widely, and the number of signs and symptoms vary as well – serious injuries sometimes show few symptoms.

The event will be hosted by a panel of certified athletic trainers on staff at Valley’s Sports Institute:
· Don Tomaszewski, MS, ATC, Director, The Valley Hospital Sports Institute
· Karen Karosy, M.Ed., ATC, Athletic Trainer at Indian Hills High School
· Sarah Edge, MS, ATC, Athletic Trainer, Ramapo High School
· Rich Raiani, MS, ATC, Athletic Trainer, Mahwah High School

Guest speakers will include:
· Thomas Bottiglieri, D.O. ,Family and Sports Medicine
· Stephen Kanter, ATC, PT, DPT, Director, Athcare Consulting and Education Services

Some of the topics that will be covered include the communication and roles of people in caring for an athlete with concussion, what is known about concussions today and guidelines for returning to play following a concussion.  Participants will learn all about the Concussion Management Program at The Valley Hospital Sports Institute and the ImPACT Concussion Management Test.  There will be a Q&A session and information and resources available on concussion awareness and management.  Attendees will receive a certificate of participation.

Space is limited.  To register for the free seminar, please call 1-800-VALLEY-1 (1-800-825-5391).

The Valley Hospital Sports Institute is an ImPACT testing provider.  The ImPACT Concussion Management Test is an innovative computerized evaluation system that assesses the effects and severity of a concussion and helps determine when it is safe for an athlete to return to contact sports following a concussion.  For more information about ImPACT testing, please call the Sports Institute at 201-447-8133.

Posted on

Discussion misses on key points about concussions

r-FOOTBALL-HELMET-CONCUSSIONS-LOBBYING-large570

Letter to the Editor: Discussion misses on key points about concussions

JUNE 19, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2015, 9:20 AM
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS
Print

Discussion misses on key points about concussions

To the Editor:

With four grandchildren in the Ridgewood school system and an epidemiologist’s interest in athletic health, I attended the June 1 session on “What You Should Know About Concussions in Youth Sports” at Benjamin Franklin Middle School.

The session was for the most part limited to concussion recognition and management, rather than the increasingly clear long-term risks, including premature dementia. There was no effective critique of the current “Return to Play after Concussion” protocols, which, for a variety of well-documented reasons, simply will not work. Essentially, these protocols allow us to feel good that something is being done while they enable denial of any serious short or long term risks.

There was no serious discussion of the inception of chronic traumatic encephalopathy and the accumulation of tau protein in the brain following some concussions, or multiple concussions. This cannot now be evaluated by scanning, but we know from autopsy studies the process can begin at a young age, especially in pee-wee leagues and high school football. In the settlement with the players union, the NFL has conceded the relationship of concussion to a variety of neurogentive conditions, including premature dementia.

The magnitude of the association is as yet unclear, although a study commissioned by the NFL suggests that premature dementia is five times more common by age 50 in NFL players who can remember their past concussions. The connection was easier when boxing was a much more prevalent amateur sport. “Dementia Pugilistica” is the main reason why boxing disappeared as an undergraduate sport by about 1950. The long “incubation” period between concussions in youth sports and dementia has given rise to much denial. If we drew an analogy to the devastating smoking and cancer story, long resisted as a “mere statistical association” by the tobacco interests, it seems we are at 1955, with about 10 years to go before the Surgeon General’s report, “Smoking and Cancer,” appeared in 1964.

There was talk of child athletes taking “big hits” to head and body, but no one asked why that was necessary to impart the values of team play, discipline, character, etc. The 15-year athletic injury surveillance project of the NCAA, 1988 to 2003, and published in 2007, establishes the rates and patterns of serious injury by gender in several commonly played sports. With young men, football causes about half the serious injuries, including concussion, for all the sports covered in the study. The public health impact of these relationships is even greater than they seem, since football teams are much larger than the others and thus more children are exposed to higher risk.

Finally, schools exist to nurture minds, not put them at risk – short and/or long term. It seems time for a prudent review of the objectives of sports activities sponsored by publically funded schools and the sports we choose to sponsor to achieve these goals.

Nicholas H. Wright, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACE

Williamstown, Mass.

http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-letters-to-the-editor/letter-to-the-editor-discussion-misses-on-key-points-about-concussions-1.1359400

Posted on

I-Team: Many Tri-State Schools Use Football Helmets That Don’t Protect Well Against Concussions

riddell-VSR4_0x650

I-Team: Many Tri-State Schools Use Football Helmets That Don’t Protect Well Against Concussions

By Pei-Sze Cheng and Gabrielle Ewing

When 16-year-old Tom Cutinella died after collapsing on the field following a collision during a football game at his Long Island high school, questions arose about concussions in sports and the safety of the children playing them.

While what happened to the Shoreham-Wading River High School student is extremely rare, research shows concussions in school sports are not uncommon

A survey of high school sports-related injuries compiled by researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health shows that football-related concussions are on the rise. In 2005, there were 55,007 reported concussions from football games and practice. By 2012, that number had more than tripled to 167,604.

“We tell our guys, we get anyone with a head injury, they are immediately out of it,” said Mike Carter, who oversees Bloomfield High school’s football program in New Jersey.

Football Helmet Safety Questioned at Tri-State Schools

With football-related concussions on the rise in high school sports, the I-Team set out to find out what kind of helmets schools in the tri-state use and how they measure in a ranking that evaluates the likeliness of football helmets to reduce concussion risk. Pei-Sze Cheng reports. (Published Monday, Nov 3, 2014)

Carter says his students wear some of the newest helmets available on the market. But the I-Team discovered that not all students at area schools have access to such equipment.

Over a period of two months, the I-Team asked about 200 schools in the tri-state area what kind of helmets they use and found many use helmets that received low marks in a Virginia Tech study that evaluates the likeliness of football helmets to reduce concussion risk.

To determine how well certain helmets absorb impact, Virginia Tech researchers placed them on a device and slammed them onto a steel block. Helmets were given one to five stars based on how well they absorbed impact — or how likely they would be to prevent concussions.

“The better the helmet, the better it cushions the impact and the more it lowers acceleration,” said Virginia Tech professor Stefan Duma, who helped author the study.

The VSR-4 helmet, for example, received only one star in the Virginia Tech study and was labeled as “marginal” in terms of its ability to reduce concussion risk. Riddell discontinued the helmet in May 2011.

“The game has since evolved significantly making room for major advancements in helmet technology,” Riddell said in a statement. “Riddell has programs in place to encourage those playing football to transition to new helmets that incorporate more advanced technology.”

Though Riddell’s VSR-4 was discontinued more than three years ago, Clifton High School in Clifton, New Jersey, lists mostly that helmet in its inventory, the I-Team found.

Clifton High School’s athletic director, Tom Mullahey, thanked the I-team for bringing the outdated helmet’s safety ranking to his attention and said the school purchased 26 new helmets for the team.

In a statement, Mullahey said, “This is the first we’ve heard of this study,” and that he ordered new helmets so that “every football player in our program is wearing a Revolution ( four stars) or Revolution Speed (five stars).”

Brentwood High School on Long Island, Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and Yonkers Public Schools in Westchester County also use one and two star helmets, the I-Team found. Among the Yonkers Public Schools, Yonkers Montessori Academy had the most low-star helmets.

Some of those schools stood by their helmet choices.

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Football-Helmet-Safety-School-Concussion-Investigation-Injury-Death-281339821.html