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Barrow Brainbook Introduces Gold Standard In Student Athlete Concussion Awareness To Bay Area

This article is sponsored by Dignity Health

How many teenagers know the signs and symptoms of a concussion, or what to do about suffering a hit to the head, even with a protective helmet in place? Dignity Health indicates that an estimated 300,000 concussions occur on high school sports fields every year, of which 90 percent do not involve a loss of consciousness, meaning trickier assessment.

Heads up! Unlike many other types of injuries, a brain injury is one that you cannot see. The danger is that just because you can't see it, doesn't necessarily mean everything is okay. Playing it safe in sports, recognizing the signs of a concussion and knowing what to do can make a big difference, even during the first 15 minutes. Experts emphasize that all concussions must be treated as serious, since a blow or trauma to the head can significantly affect brain functionality and development. The most modern research tells us that a bump on the head is not to be trivialized and there's nothing brave about jumping right back into the game.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, a student athlete-focused initiative to raise concussion I.Q. has been launched as one of Dignity Health's core initiatives. Utilizing the Barrow Brainbook that was developed in Arizona by the Barrow Neurological Institute, students at George Washington High School in San Francisco's Richmond District, William C. Overfelt High School in East San Jose, and Berkeley High School will be among the first to participate in the interactive online program and mandatory exam that kicks in before anyone is permitted to kickoff.

The online interactive educational program created by neurologists at Dignity Health Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix is designed to keep kids safe while playing sports. Packed with engaging content and celebrity athlete segments, the Barrow Brainbook involves modular easy-to-navigate activities, videos, and quizzes throughout its levels. The groundbreaking concussion awareness and prevention program encompasses athletes involved in football, where nearly half of high school head trauma injuries occur, plus soccer, hockey and cheerleading. Barrow Brainbook will reach 200,000 youth as it extends to 34 Bay Area high schools by mid-2017.

Dignity Health Barrow Neurological Institute has partnered with Dignity Health Foundation with support from the San Francisco 49ers, the California Interscholastic Federation and imPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) to create the Dignity Health Concussion Network.

Following the success of Barrow Brainbook in Arizona schools, Jed York, CEO of the San Francisco 49ers, stated that "Dignity Health Concussion Network is a powerful way to help student athletes stay healthy for the long-term." He added, "The program is a critical step in protecting and educating young athletes. We are proud to help bring this proven program to the Bay Area."

Dignity Health shares the view that high school sports can be instrumental in building community support, team spirit, athletic skills and strong bodies while introducing humankindness onto the playing field. At the same time, high school sports should never place young athletes at risk for lifelong physical and mental injuries. Barrow Brainbook, which is a critical piece of the Dignity Health Concussion Network is today's gold standard for empowering students with safety awareness for themselves and for others at the intersection of wellness, education, and team sports.

This article was written by Laurie Jo Miller Farr via for CBS Local Media.

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