Local High School Testing Student-Athletes for Concussions

July 10, 2018, 11:23 am EST | Share:

DANIEL ISLAND, SC (CAROLINE BALCHUNAS, WTAT-TV) — The beginning of football season is right around the corner, but the risk of concussion is enough to worry any parent.

It’s why Bishop England High School is testing student-athletes for the next two weeks.

During that testing, student-athletes will undergo a computer exam, which tests things like memory recall and reaction time.

“It will say the word red, but the word red might be in green or it might be in blue,” said Heather Bellin, the school’s athletic trainer about the program.

She says the test creates a personal baseline for each athlete. The score helps gauge if there are any cognitive changes following a concussion or head injury.

Bellin said they’ll perform the test when an athlete is symptom-free for 24-hours and cleared by a health professional.

“We have plenty of athletes that will lie and they will say, ‘oh I’ve been symptom-free’ but they’re not actually symptom-free,” Bellin said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 25-percent of concussions among high school athletes happen from overly aggressive play.

“Basketball, it kind of depends on the game, but lacrosse, every game is pretty intense,” said Zach Skipper, a rising freshman at Bishop England. Skipper said he’s seen players injured before and recalled an incident last season.

“The kid was running up the field and a guy went to check him with his hands and he hit him right in the head and he just blacked out,” Skipper said.

But it’s not just the boys.

“A lot of people it’s not very likely, but girl’s lacrosse is a lot more physical than you think,” said Colette Pampus, a 10th-grade lacrosse player. She has also seen girls get hurt on the field.

“During state, we had a girl just run across the field and deck one of our smaller players,” she recalled.

The baseline concussion testing will continue at Bishop England for the next two weeks.

If a student has three or more concussions they cannot participate in any contact sport for the rest of the school year.