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Football coaches learn concussion safety

METAIRIE, L.a. (WGNO) -- Youth league football coaches are prepping for the upcoming season by learning how to better protect kids. They learned at a clinic called 'Heads Up Football Player Safety Coach'. Coaches are receiving  in-depth training to keep athletes safe.
"I think most of the recreation coaches coached the way they were coached 10 - 20 years ago and football's changed since then," said Lou Valdin, USA Football Master Trainer.

Coaches and parents received tools needed to keep kids safe. They learned about heat and hydration, proper fitting of equipment, and signs/symptoms of concussions.

"A few years ago, a kid got hit in the head, and you'd say oh you just got your bell rung, go back in, now we know if you got your bell rung, it's a serious injury, it's a concussion," said Valdin.

"Prompt recognition is key. It's better to sit out one game than to miss a whole season," said Ochsner Dr. Aaron Karlin.

Dr. Karlin specializes in concussions. He said there are four groups of symptoms: physical, cognitive, emotional changes, and disruption of sleep.

"So if you think that you're child has had not just a headache but some of those other symptoms that we talked about, after having a head injury and even a hard hit to the body, because that force can still be transmitted to your neck injuring your brain, get seen by your primary care physician," he said.

The message of the 'Heads Up Football Player Safety Coach Clinic is simple.

"Basically what we're trying to do is make football a safer, better game," said Valdin.