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Ravens player encourages concussion education

Baltimore Ravens player Jameel McClain discussed the "ethic of playing through pain" in the NFL, using his own experience as an example. In his rookie year he took a shot to the head and felt dizzy, and though he wanted to play, the team doctors kept him out of the game. McClain said that the ethic of pushing through the pain like the pros do may be trickling down into youth sports, and is pushing for awareness about the long-term damage of concussions.

In a public service announcement partnered with MedStar, McClain says "when in doubt, sit it out," after running through methods for coaches, parents and fellow athletes to recognize the symptoms of concussions. The NFL has been under pressure recently, as former players have brought a suit against the league in regards to brain damage and the long-term effects of concussions.

According to the director of the MedStar Sports Medicine Research Center only half of kids who suffer concussions will report them to the coach. The responsibility of friends, teammates, and parents to monitor these injuries is very important, as the long-term effects of multiple concussions are not yet known.

The causes of concussions are not limited to athletics, however. Car accidents can often cause minor head trauma, which may not seem very serious at the time. Awareness of the symptoms of a concussion, including headache, sensitivity to light and difficulties concentrating or with memory, can ensure that the necessary treatment is received as quickly as possible.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Ravens, MedStar tackle issue of concussions," Meredith Cohn, Sep. 18, 2012

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