Fall athletes protected under new concussion law - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Fall athletes protected under new concussion law

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The season that begins Friday night is the first that Wisconsin high school football players are protected under a new concussion law. As one sports medicine doctor puts it, the law gets Wisconsin up to speed with a lot of other states that already require education and regulation for head injuries. It aims to protect athletes from concussions, a health threat that's gained national attention in recent years.

"A huge fear of ours is that somebody will go back and be injured worse and have significant, life-threatening complications," said Dr. Brian Reeder, a sports medicine doctor for Dean Clinic who often works with student athletes.

The bill was backed by the National Football League and Green Bay Packers and signed into law on April 2, 2012. It requires education for coaches, kids and parents. Dr. Reeder said it helps them understand the signs and symptoms of head injuries.

Catching symptoms was something crucial for Verona mom Kris Leahy-Gross. "Our son last year had a concussion and it was quite severe," Leahy-Gross said. Her son's coach was the one who caught the symptoms. "I think coaches are very in tune to head injuries right now, partly due to this bill," she continued.

Athletes are also now required to see a health expert like Dr. Reeder if they do suffer a concussion. They can't go back into action until they're officially cleared.

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