By Ken Reed
Klay Thompson, one-half of the Golden State Warriors’ “Splash Brothers,” is dealing with the lingering effects of a concussion as his team prepares for the NBA Finals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers this week.
That, in and of itself, isn’t a big newsflash. Concussions are part of sports these days. What is news is that Thompson was cleared by Golden State medical officials to go back into the game with the Houston Rockets last week. Fortunately, Thompson never reentered the game because the Warriors were comfortably ahead and coach Steve Kerr didn’t think it was necessary to put Thompson back in the game. I say fortunately because soon after the game, Thompson began to get dizzy and then threw up a couple times. He indeed did have a concussion. Reentering the game could have put him at danger for Second Impact Syndrome, a scary condition that can result in serious brain damage, and even death, if another concussion results shortly after the first.
There are a couple lessons here for youth and high school athletes and coaches. One, concussion symptoms can be delayed. Most delayed symptoms present themselves within 12-24 hours but they can take up to three days to appear. So, it’s important that any athlete that takes a blow to the head is closely monitored for the first few days after the head trauma. Two, youth and high school sports teams need a simple and effective concussion screening test in order to lessen the chances that an athlete will return to play too soon.
The King-Devick test fits the bill. The King-Devick test is an inexpensive, quick (approximately two minutes) and accurate test for concussion detection and evaluation on the sidelines of sporting events. Just as importantly, it’s easy to administer — for almost anyone. You don’t have to be a medical professional in order to administer the test to an athlete. Youth parents and youth and high school coaches can do it after a minimum of instruction. Moreover, the test is only five to ten dollars a year for each athlete.
The King-Devick Test has also been proven to pick up “silent concussions.” These are brain injuries that have occurred in athletes despite the lack of typical concussion symptoms. As such, a coach or parent could quickly test an athlete after a big hit even if the athlete isn’t wobbly or experiencing any other obvious effect from that hit.
The fact is, the vast majority of youth and high school sports contests today don’t have any medical personnel on the sidelines. That’s another reason why the use of the King-Devick test is important.
I urge you to share this information with every youth and high school sports administrator and coach you know. It could prevent a lot of tragic consequences for young athletes and their families.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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Episode #31 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Ballparks – Our guests are Jordan Skopp, founder of FoulBallSafety.com and Greg Wilkowski, a Chicago based attorney. We discuss the historical problem of foul balls injuring fans and why some teams are still hesitant to put up protective netting in some minor league and college baseball parks.
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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