Free Concussion testing next week

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – If your child plays sports or even plays rough, they could be at risk for a concussion. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 75 percent of traumatic brain injuries that occur each year are concussions and more than 70 percent of those are among people 10-19 years old.

As we get ready for back to school, we spoke with Dr. Kristina DeMatas, a family medicine and sports medicine physician from Mayo Clinic and a member of the Northeast Florida Sports Concussion Task Force about concussions and a free screening program happening next week.

Dr. DeMatas says children and adolescent athletes appear to be at a higher risk for concussions than other people, and they may also take longer to recover. After a concussion, if an athlete continues to play or returns to play too early, there is a significant risk of experiencing another concussion.

Dr. DeMatas says one of their goals is to increase awareness of youth concussion in the community and promote baseline testing and access to healthcare providers knowledgeable in concussion treatment; with the ultimate goal of creating standardized guidelines to return athletes safely to play.

Mayo Clinic is holding a free concussion baseline testing day from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at the Gate Parkway Primary Care Clinic.

If you can't make it, Mayo is holding another one Aug. 24th at the Primary Care Center in Jacksonville Beach from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Both days are free but parents must call to pre-register.