Coaches, parents to learn first-hand how to protect kids from concussions

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - More than 100 local parents and coaches will learn firsthand from neurologists Wednesday how they can protect their kids from concussions.

Only 10 percent of children will pass out from a head  injury, therefore, neurologists say it is important for parents and coaches to know what to look for if a child hurts their head in a game, practice or while playing outside.

Dr. Michael Rippee with the University Of Kansas Hospital said if children continue to play with a concussion, their brain can sustain even more damage.

February is a busy time for kids around the metro to sign up for spring activities. Coaches with the Brookside Soccer Club say the big talker among the player’s parents is the danger of concussions.

The Brookside Soccer Club will host a session with former MLS.soccer player Sasha Victorine and Dr. Rippee at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Roasterie's main plant AT 1204 W. 27th Street in Kansas City, Mo.

Victorine will share his personal story of living with post-concussion symptoms from his time playing with the US Olympic Soccer Team. Rippee will speak with parents about common concussion misconceptions and how to avoid injuries.

Soccer isn’t considered a high impact sport. However, according to statistics from the University of Kansas Hospital, when a child does a header with a soccer ball the impact reaches up to 70 miles per hour.

"If you think about soccer, players are hitting the ball with their heads. Generally they're not the only ones going after the ball, so there is the potential for head-to-head hits and kids hitting their head on the ground is probably our number one injury," said Dr. Rippee.

Former Kansas City Wizards player and current Brookside Soccer Club Executive Director Nick Garcia decided to put on the clinic on behalf of the coaches and parents of the 2,400 kids in the league. He stressed that the presentation is free and open to any interested parents.

"We know kids are going to break their arms and have trauma associated with being a kid but it shouldn't necessarily impact them long term,” he explained, “So I think knowing what concussions are about and having professionals speak is essential because for me as a former professional player, coach, dad, and soccer director I'm not an expert in the neuroscience.”

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