New technology puts doctors on the sideline, helps spot concussions

PHOENIX - It's a problem of epidemic proportions. Kids suffering hundreds and thousands of concussions every year.

That's right, 400,000 concussions each and every year, and that's just high school sports

With numbers like that, it's no wonder parents, schools and doctors are focusing on the issue.

Consider it technology meets the gridiron. Barrow Neurological Institute is unveiling a new program that will essentially put a doctor on every sideline. All it takes is a phone or iPad.

It's what you may consider a touchdown for your child's health - spotting concussions.

More parents and players are taking action and reporting those types of injuries.

Experts say you can't prevent a concussion, but you can prevent the chances of them through education, like coaches teaching proper tackling.

One third of concussions in football happen during practice. Therefore, there are new rules out to protect high school players.

The bylaw specifies that no more than half of practice time can be contact practice in the preseason and no more than 1/3 of practice time can be contact practice during the regular season

Barrow Neurological Institute, the Arizona Cardinals, the Fiesta Bowl and the Arizona Interscholastic Association are now adding technology to awareness.

Think of it as a tool for trainers and even coaches.

They log in on a smart phone or tablet and have a doctor's help with an injury. An athletic trainer can request a consultation from anywhere in the state, on the sidelines, in the locker room or wherever they may be.

The National Football League is taking note as well. Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill says you may notice extra people on the sidelines.

"It's an area of emphasis, I can tell you that we have independent athletic trainers coming to games, observers coming to games," says Bidwill.

This type of research is being done to better understand the effects of concussions and how to treat them.

All Arizona high schools are invited to take action. Join in to better protect young athletes.

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