RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) Brain injuries are hot-button issues when it comes to football, and many parents have concerns about signing their child up to play. but the biggest question? safety.
Josh Sole, Sports Medicine Director Regional Health says, ' Is it still safe to play football? And my question is yes, It is still safe to play football'
safety isn't just about the equipment. The proper form needs to be part of the game plan beginning at the first levels of tackle football
Sole says, ' We work the with the coaches to teach good technique. Tackling properly getting skilled development first when they get into tackle football, 7th, 8th graders before they get into high school.'
Sullivan says, ' Fundamental tackling has been the key for us, making sure your head is up. Good technique, the biggest thing with concussions don't lead with the head first.'
protecting the head is key, but currently, all concussion research is aimed toward the NFL.
Sole says, " There is not a lot of evidence that in youth sports or even up the college level that helmets prevent concussions. They prevent skull fractures, brain bleeds, and trauma.'
the lack of scientific data doesn't mean coaches ignore the possibility.
Wayne Sullivan, Head Coach STM football. ' Now that we have concussion protocol where we take a pretest at the beginning of every season. So every player has to take a test on the computer. So anytime we feel a player has a concussion they have to go through that protocol.'
Sullivan says, ' If they do not pass the baseline they have to sit out 5 days, then they retest before we allow them back on the field.'
Although it's football that dominates the discussion, it's not the only sport putting athletes at risk. According to Sole Women's soccer actually has the highest rate of concussions in all sports. and suffering a long-term brain injury from football is rare. People can get hurt doing everyday activities.
Sole says, ' You are more likely to have a skeletal muscle injury in football than a head injury, even though the exposure rate is higher. I just tell people the chance of having a concussion that leads to long-term disability and lifelong health problems is way less likely than driving them to school or having them cross the street.'
Jeff Voss Black Hills Fox News