DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

October 17, 2013

School Board hears concussion numbers

By John Toole
jtoole@derrynews.com

---- — LONDONDERRY — Sixty-two Londonderry student athletes showed concussion-like symptoms last year.

Last week, superintendent Nate Greenberg gave an accounting of injuries to the School Board, which has reviewed the district’s policy during the last two months.

Greenberg said the most instances occurred when students were playing football, with 22, with soccer numbering 11 and lacrosse eight.

But in one case even a member of the swim team was hurt.

“Forgot to put the hand out when coming close to the wall,” Greenberg told the board.

The head injuries occurred across the board in virtually every sport, involving both boys and girls, and included cheerleading.

The board asked whether any of the students suffered more than one concussion.

“There was only one student who was a repeat,” Greenberg said.

There has been growing concern in the sports world about the long-term effects of concussions on athletes.

Even the National Football League has come under fire in recent years for failing to act quickly to protect player health.

Board members looked to the superintendent for assurances the district is doing enough.

“We don’t let them back unless we get medical clearance,” Greenberg said.

The superintendent told the board that Londonderry schools are extremely conservative in their approach to possible concussions.

“We do not want to take any chances,” he said.

The board wondered what would happen in the event of multiple instances involving the same student in the same season.

“In a given season, a youngster could have one concussion, depending on the duration and severity of it, that could be it for the season,” Greenberg said.

The superintendent emphasized that Londonderry schools have been leaders in the state in protecting students against concussion.

Students and their families will have to take an online course concerning concussions even before trying out for winter sports this year, he said.