Step 1 In Fighting Head Injury: Admit You’re Hurt

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – As we welcome back high school football, we take a look at an issue that will not go away anytime soon — head injuries.

If prevention is the focus, then getting educated is where we’re at.

Dennis Koslowski is a chiropractor and former Olympian wrestler who has worked with the Vikings and the Twins. He says step one is already in play, and it’s getting athletes OK with saying their heads hurt.

“There was a time when players didn’t want to say they had a headache,” Koslowski said. “They didn’t want to lose their spot on the team.”

The players would try to hide their suffering. After all, Koslowski said, you can’t see a headache.

At places like DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, the staff focuses on equipment and alumni help. Coach Sean McMenomy said the players have custom-fitted mouth guards and tight-fitting equipment.

“We are preach safety,” McMenomy said.

Understanding head injury, however, is a work in progress. And it will be that way for quite some time.

Dave Nelson, the football coach at Minnetonka High School, says his team is aware of the threat head injuries pose and they are trying to practice smarter.

“It’s not always the big hits,” he said. “It can be the smaller, day-to-day hits [that cause injury].”

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