Concussion concerns: New ad compares tackle football to smoking

The Concussion Legacy Foundation recently released a shocking new ad called 'Tackle Can Wait,' comparing the sport to smoking, and asking parents to keep kids away from tackle football until age 14. Image: NewsChannel 9 SkyView

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVC) — We are in the middle of football season, and for the past several years there have been a lot of conversations about concussions and the possibility they could cause your children problems in the future.

Tonight, some teams in the Tennessee Valley are making changes to help keep your kids safe.

Football is a tough sport.

The reality is, when kids hit the field they put themselves at bigger risk for head injuries, including concussions.

Grant Reynolds is the head coach at East Hamilton High School, and he's seen people get concussions on the field.

"A lot of times it can be where they're very sensitive to light and they may have a headache eventually maybe some nausea," says Reynolds.

As the top contact sport in the country, football is now in the spotlight. People are being proactive about the long-term health problems that come with playing the game.

The Concussion Legacy Foundation recently released a shocking new ad called 'Tackle Can Wait,' comparing the sport to smoking, and asking parents to keep kids away from tackle football until age 14.

Rebecca Weant is a physical therapist at Siskin Hospital. She focuses on treating traumatic brain injuries.

"It could affect your memory, cognition, and how you are later down the road," said Weant. "It could cause rapid brain swelling and potentially death."

Weant stressed the importance of recovery and how not doing so can have long term affects. She says signs and symptoms of a concussion include dizziness, headache, and nausea.

"If coaches even suspect (a concussion), they should just sideline them," Weant said. "Let medical professionals assess them and then keep them out of the game."

Reynolds says they've changed drills, practices and procedures to help prevent head injuries.

"We limit our full contact practices," he said. "We also teach kids how to properly tackle without invoking the head in the tackle itself."

The equipment has evolved too. It's stronger and more durable.

"They've specifically designed to help with the impact that a kid would get in a football season," Reynolds said. He says they put the safety of the kids first. "With any injury we want to maintain as few of injuries as we can."

To learn about the 'Tackle Can Wait' campaign, click here.

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