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New Be Smart. Be Well.® Videos helps Parents and Coaches Recognize Concussion Signs in Young Athletes

Fall sports are in full swing, and kids and teens across the country are suiting up for football, soccer and other activities. This season, parents and coaches can help keep young athletes safe by recognizing the signs of a concussion and understanding what to do for a concussion, say experts featured in a new video on BeSmartBeWell.com .

"Young children, teenagers and young adults are particularly at risk because their brains are still developing," says Julie Gilchrist, M.D., a pediatrician and medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and one of the experts featured in the video Play Smarter: Sports and Concussions. 

Each year, U.S. emergency departments treat nearly 175,000 children and teens for sports-related TBIs, including concussions — and they're not all due to football. In addition to football, other activities that cause the greatest number of TBI-related emergency department visits include bicycling, basketball and soccer. Plus, playground injuries are one of the leading causes of recreation-related TBIs in children 9 and under.

Because it can be hard to differentiate between a bump on the head and a concussion, it's especially important that parents and coaches understand the symptoms of a concussion and seek medical help if there's any doubt.

"We're dealing with the most important organ in the body, and we're playing with fire," says James R. Young, M.D., director of Rehabilitation Services at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Read more tips about how to help keep young athletes safe  and hear from the CDC's Dr. Gilchrist in a new expert Q&A video .

For more about traumatic brain injury and concussions, visit Be Smart. Be Well . Visitors also can sign up to get two e-mail newsletters from Be Smart. Be Well. that provide in-depth health and wellness information as well as up-to-date health news. Learn more   about these free newsletters and sign up today  .

About Be Smart. Be Well.

Be Smart. Be Well . is a free health and wellness website available to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) members as well as the general public. The goal of the site is simple: To help all of us stay healthier and safer through increased awareness and simple-to-use knowledge.