Doctors expect to see more concussions during football season

Little Rock (KATV) - A football player at Bryant High School suffered a minor concussion on Wednesday. That player is working to get back on the field, but sports medicine doctors say during football season, concussions are common. Most student athletes today need a parent's signature on a concussion fact sheet from the Arkansas Activates Association before the suit up for any high school sport. The sheet includes signs and symptoms of a concussion, what to do if you have one, and the return-to-play guidelines. Pulaski Academy Freshman Jake Paddie said he knows the symptoms all too well. "You get a headache at first, once it gets worse all you want to do is sleep," said Paddie. Pulaski Academy Coach Kevin Kelly said the best concussion prevention is awareness. "We have more diagnosed concussions now than we've ever had," said Coach Kelly. What starts with a hard hit on the gridiron, can end with a long list of symptoms like headache, nausea, blurred vision, dizziness, or confusion. In the tough sport of football, some may say concussion symptoms could just be part of the game, but coaches are taught to look for additional concussion signs like a players slowed response or memory loss. "Concussion to the jaw area has probably a bigger percentage of concussion causing events than a blow to the head or to the side," said Coach Kelly. Sports medicine doctor, Jonathan Wyatt, said this time of year he'll start seeing more concussion patients. "We know now, if you've got a concussion, you can't go back in the game," said Dr. Wyatt. The Arkansas Activities Association put together concussion guidelines for student athletes. Part of the guidelines asks coaches to train on concussion awareness every three years. The student has to be cleared by a medical professional before returning to the game if they suffered a concussion and depending on the severity of the head injury, a player could be evaluated for up to five days before returning to the game. Return to play guidelines à Concussion management à