Youth football league gets concussion tests

Members of Troy's youth football league gathered at the Kroc Center in Dayton Saturday morning to get free baseline concussion tests provided by Dayton Children's Hospital. (WDTN Photo/Matt Behrens)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Members of Troy’s youth football league gathered at the Kroc Center in Dayton Saturday morning to get free baseline concussion tests provided by Dayton Children’s Hospital.

A baseline concussion test is a snapshot of an athlete’s normal brain function. If a child then suffers a blow to the head, comparing this baseline with post-concussion test scores will help in managing the injury. Every child’s brain is different so having a measurement will help doctors know when the child has healed from the injury.

“Just in case an athlete does get hurt each kid is a little bit different. No 10 year-old is alike. No 12-year-old is alike. So it’s very important to have each kid individualized test so in case something does occur that we can go back and see where they were at the beginning of the season,” said Ashley Stanko, an athlete trainer at Dayton Children’s.

Trainers like Ashley Stanko says it’s not just about the test, it’s also about awareness and education for parents.

“Everyone knows about nausea, headaches, vomiting, that kind of thing, but a lot of parents don’t understand there can be latent after effects. Sometimes, symptoms don’t appear until 24 to 48 hours,” she said.

The tests can be done on athletes who are 10 and older and should be repeated every year, according to experts. Dayton Children’s recommends doing it as part of a sports pre-participation physical.

“It’s easy to do once a year takes about 10-15 minutes to take the test and it’s really important to get it done once a year.”

The tests are always free at Dayton Children’s Hospital and many outpatient clinics, but Saturday’s setting allowed sports medicine experts to assess this large group of kids in a short period of time.

Dayton Children’s is the only hospital in the area offering tests geared specifically towards kids and is the only local hospital offering tests for free on a walk-in basis.

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