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Statewide concussion protocol hits the field

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TWC News: Statewide concussion protocol hits the field
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For many in Texas, football comes first.

It's a game all about big hits and lightning quick speed, but when one of these players gets a concussion, there's no rushing them back to the field.

House Bill 2038, passed last session, set strict guidelines for injured high school athletes returning to competition.

"Before it might have just been a district rule, now it is a state law so now you have got more protection for doing what you are supposed to be doing," Anderson High School Athletic Trainer Laura Whitus said.

Anderson High School has joined the high-tech attack on concussions. The school now uses computers to test the cognitive health of athletes before and after their injury. They are also using a mobile app to test for concussion symptoms.

"If we put them out there, they are going to get hurt worse. They are going to be out for a longer period of time, and most of the time coaches will back off and let you do your job," Whitus said. "If we think they have suffered a concussion it helps us to identify if they are cognitively in the same place before they suffered a concussion."

On top of that, the school has added a rigorous four-day return-to-play procedure. It's supposed to ease injured kids back into play while identifying any lasting damage.

"They have to do all these steps without reoccurrence of symptoms. They can't have a headache at the end of the day. They can't come back at the next day and say, 'Oh, I was sick or I was tired,'" Whitus said.

Click here for more information on some practice cognitive tests Central Texas schools are using. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP