Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > Falcons offer tips to parents on football safety
November 10, 2015
Falcons offer tips to parents on football safety
In association with Dunwoody High School and the football team, the Atlanta Falcons came to Dunwoody’s auditorium to share tips with local moms to keep their sons protected from the inevitable dangers of America’s favorite sport. As is the case in the National Football League, a large part of the informative presentation and demonstration regarded concussions and their proper treatment, but Brian Parker of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, also informed the audience of a much more preventable danger affecting teen players in large scale: supplements and steroids. Former Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry ran the event, first informing the moms of proper equipment sizing and how to make sure a helmet and shoulder pads fit correctly. Unlike a basic tee-shirt, padding and equipment are designed to be snug, and Curry added, “Wearing a helmet that fits correctly is going to hurt for the first few days. Then it will start molding to the shape of the wearer’s head, giving a tight, protective fit.” While most people know, or are at least told, not to lead into a tackle with the helmet to reduce the chance of concussions, few know the necessary steps to take once a player has suffered a concussion. The typical reaction is to take the injured player to the emergency room following the game, but many times, those doctors are not trained to detect the symptoms and severity of concussions, something a concussion specialist is specifically trained to diagnose. Concussions come with very intensive recovery processes, too, because there is a much greater risk of re-injuring the brain and of long term or permanent damage. It is advised that athletes slowly work back into running and movement exercises before returning to hitting drills, and Curry advises that a set routine of five exercises (one per day) should be completed consecutively without any side effects before a player is cleared to play. As damaging as concussions can be in the long run, supplements and steroids can cause similar pain and disability down the road. Parker repeatedly stated that many supplements at stores like GNC go untested, leaving their actual ingredient list up for grabs; many of these unregulated substances contain the very steroids the players are trying to avoid when they turn to natural powders and mixes. Up to 25 percent of these supplements can contain forms of testosterone and hormone stimulants, the key ingredients in anabolic steroids. With the intention of replicating puberty, it quickly becomes clear the damaging effects these products can have much later in these teens’ lives. Also in attendance at the clinic was Falcons defensive end Malliciah Goodman, who helped lead the moms in safe tackling drills following the presentation. In the NFL, where more and more players are getting injured and those players are rushed to get back on the field, Goodman recognizes the benefit of fully recovering from injuries before rejoining with the team. “You have to take care of your body. Hydrating often is very important in refreshing your muscles and allowing your body to recover,” said Goodman. “Stretching is critical, and go to therapy if it is advised by the trainers and coaches. Just take care of your body.” http://m.thecrier.net/mobile/news/article_63b4dbb4-87c5-11e5-9f14-5fb24e47e680.html