Head injuries in student athletes symposium

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - As summer reaches its peak, hundreds of area high school athletes are in training in preparation of the upcoming football season.  To ensure their safety, more than 120 Kern County high school coaches, trainers and athletic directors are scheduled to attend the 9th Annual Head Injuries in Student Athletes Symposium, presented by Hall Ambulance Service in cooperation with the Kern High School District.

Dr. Ron Ostrom, Hall Ambulance Medical Director will lead the discussion providing the latest information in the prevention, detection and education of mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in our local student-athletes.  The objective of the training will be to provide the coaches and their staff with the ability to manage an athlete with a concussion, including proper return to play procedures.

This is open to Kern County High School coaches, athletic directors and trainers on Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Kern High School District, EOC Building at 5801 Sundale Avenue.

A concussion is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating injury that disrupts normal brain function.  Two common causes of head injuries to student athletes include helmet to object, and body to object, which may not appear as severe, but produces significant forces transmitted to the head. 

Awareness and the impact of football-related head injuries have drawn a lot of attention of late—and that is a good thing.  Within the Kern High School District, the number of reported cases, across all sports, has increased in the past three years by 91.25% from 80 reported incidents in 2011, to 153 in 2013.  The more students, parents and coaching staff know about concussions (including their signs and symptoms), the better.  Locally, media coverage, public education and the Head Injuries in Student Athletes Symposium has been making a positive impact. 

The symposium will also cover legislation aimed at creating statewide safety standards for the protection of athletes.  In July, Governor Brown signed AB 2127, limiting the number of full-contact practices, for middle and high school football teams, to two per week during their regular season.  The law also prohibits full-contact practices altogether during the off-season.  Of particular note is the minimum number of days for return to play has increased from five to seven (or more) days. 

Coaches, athletic directors and trainers of high schools outside of the Kern High School District, but located within Kern County are also welcome to attend.  They can RSVP by calling Myron Smith at 
661-322-8741.

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