IPS launches new concussion symptom training

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (October 26, 2015) –Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) debuted a new training program Monday at Shortridge High School that it will implement at all its schools this year.

The program is called the Concussion Goggle Protocol project and helps students identify the symptoms of a concussion.

"It’s so important that all students understand what it is to have a concussion, because it is not just on the athletic field," IPS's Health and Wellness Facilitator Kathy Langdon said.

The Dave Duerson Athletic Safety Fund donated 60 concussion goggle kits to IPS to use in physical education and health classes. Every student in the district will get the training at some point during the year.

Dayanara Santos, a junior at Shortridge High School, was in the first gym class to receive the training.

“It was a great learning experience to see how people actually feel when they have a concussion," Santos said. "I think it’s good, because people will be more aware."

The goggles simulate what a concussion is like by affecting a person's neurocognitive ability. The students tried to walk in a straight line, hive five each other, play catch and shoot a basketball. The goggles make student's see double and can give a sense a nausea.

"There were two of him and whenever I tried to concentrate on the basketball net... I would start feeling sort of dizzy and it would throw my balance off," Santos said about shooting a basketball with the goggles on.

“We are really trying more than ever to stay on top of athletes having concussion symptoms," IU University Health's Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Team Leader Kathy Malone Sparks said.  "We are really trying to educate athletes to report their symptoms and not give in to the old way of being tough, sucking it up and living with it.”

Sparks also serves at the athletic trainer for Shortridge High School.

“I like to tell the athletes you only have one brain and you want to use it later in life so let’s take care of it," she said.

Michael Duerson started the Dave Duerson Athletic Safety Fund in honor of his brother who suffered brain injuries while playing the NFL. Doctors stated those injuries led him to take his own life.

“We’re talking about saving people’s lives," Duerson said about concussion program.

Duerson launched the goggle program at Delaware County Schools first, because his brother played high school football in Muncie.

He said IPS was the next step and hopes the program can continue to branch out.

"We’re hopeful some corporate donors will see some the importance of this and help us take it throughout the state," Duerson said. “Our mission is to be a continuing funding mechanism for the education of people on the severity of traumatic brain injuries and concussions.”

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