Concussion symptoms may not be immediate

Touchdowns, interceptions and big hits; all reasons America loves football.

Sadly, some aspects of the game are not as beloved.

Concussions are always a topic of discussion when football season comes around.

Passavant Area Hospital wants to use that opportunity to educate athletes, coaches, training staffs and parents on the signs of a concussion.

In this KHQA Safe Family Report Jarod Wells shows you how even though we may not be able to rid the game of concussions, we can minimize the lasting effects.

Big hits may be fun to watch, but they could potentially be career ending. Trevor Huffman is the Director of Rehabilitation Services with Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville. So far this year he has already seen two serious head injuries in football players. One side-lining an athlete for the rest of the season.

Huffman said, "What you'd look for with an athlete, some signs that he would show would be dizziness, loss of balance, some clumsiness, forgetting plays. They can have some mood changes, some personality changes, they have kind of that dazed look about the,"

Some other warning signs of a concussion make be headaches, ringing in the ears, blurred vision or nausea. And they may not happen right away.

Huffman said, "Kind of what they've shown is even though might resolve kind of quickly and things like that, it's that 36 hours later that you can start having some more symptoms and more problems that kind of will grow. If you let them go back in, they get a second impact syndrome or they have multiple little concussions than they can have a lot of problems later on."

Huffman says this is what he's been telling people, if you're in doubt, hold them out.

Huffman said, "If you think this person might have a concussion hold them out."

That may include school as well if symptoms continue in the classroom

Huffman said, "If you hurt your knee you rest it, if you hurt your brain you probably need to rest it as well."

Once symptoms go away, athletes should start back to physical activity slowly and see how they feel before going full force. Trevor Huffman says there is some legislation going through Congress right now that could make it mandatory for coaches and parents to be educated on concussions. There is also legislation that will determine how soon athletes can return to play after concussion symptoms. And safer helmets are being researched. Until then athletes at all levels should get back to the basics.

Huffman said, "teaching the proper technique. Head up, look at what you're tackling, no spearing and some of that type of stuff."

The National Athletic Training Association has just released a new video talking about signs, symptoms and things to look for as far as concussions.

It stars Steve Young who has taken his share of big hits and concussions.

We urge you and your athletes to check out this video.