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Abilene football coach and physician speak out about head injuries

Published On: Oct 08 2012 07:47:48 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 08 2012 08:22:28 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Football is one of America's most beloved sports--but some fear it is too dangerous because players risk brain injuries. A school board member in Dover, New Hampshire, Paul Butler, even proposed banning the sport.

Abilene High School Football Coach Steve Warren said Butler is overreacting.

"I'm certainly all for keeping these kids safe," Warren said. "But there are ways to do that without taking away what I feel like is one of the greatest sports that there is."

Warren said football teams have protocol in place to help keep students safe.

"We try to teach them the right way to tackle, we buy the best helmets that we can buy," Warren said. "We have team doctors, we've got two or three people involved that have to look at these kids, we have a five-step protocol that they have to go through if they feel like they've got a head injury of any kind whatsoever."

Neurologist Russell Dickerson with Abilene Regional Medical Center pointed out any contact sport can pose health problems.

"If its a mild concussion, generally the prognosis for return to normal activities is excellent," Dickerson said.

But, parents should always keep a close eye on their children even when they are discharged from the hospital.

"A lot of times the emergency department will provide the parents with a card that gives some things to look for like nausea, drowsiness, vomiting, confusion. These are all bad, potentially ominous signs," Dickerson said.

Dickerson said people ages 15 to 26 suffer the most brain injuries.