“Heads Up” Concussion in Youth Sports Safety Program
Wheaton Rams, in conjunction with the Chicago Bears, have partnered to allow all coaches the opportunity to become certified in this safety program.
The safety of our players is always the most important goal.
Now more than ever, there is a heightened awareness of injury within youth football. There is no injury more in the forefront of awareness than concussion. While actually preventing a concussion from happening, especially within a collision sport such as football, the Rams program and its coaches are dedicated to limiting the probability of a concussion occurring. In an effort to inform our players, parents and community, below are some of the steps taken to assist in the limitation and recognition of concussion and any other injury.
- The Rams certify our helmets every year rather than the two years required by NOCSEA standards. Any helmet that does not pass certification is not returned to the rams program and is properly disposed.
- Clinics are held at the town and league level, conducted by High school and college coaches, and we encourage individual outside clinic training. Clinics cover, but are not limited to – brain injury awareness and treatment, how to tackle safely, non-contact drills, correct contact drills.
- We ensure every head coach and one assistant coach is ASEP certified via classroom instruction and exam.
- Riddell trains our helmet fitters on correct fit; with a second fitting check before a player has taken equipment home. Riddell also receives our helmets annually and puts them through proper reconditioning for next year’s season.
- We provide helmet adjustments throughout the year to ensure correct fit is available.
- All coaches have to review and provide completion of CDC concession exam.
- We send a letter and post a newsletter informing and encouraging parents to log on the CDC web site with their player (s) to better understand signs and symptoms – and treatment on head injuries.
- We limit the pre-season contact in the first two days to better prepare our players for evaluations. Within these first two days of evaluations, one of the critical teaching components is proper tackling techniques.
- Limit full hitting in practices by amount of time spent during weekly practices and distance between players during contact drills.
- We follow, train and play by the IHSA football rules.
- We have engaged with sports medicine professionals who, last year, made ’rounds’ to each practice location on a weekly basis to discuss and assist with ANY sports-related injury. These individuals are also available on an ‘on call’ basis and have attended multiple Rams Board and coaches meetings.