Kadlec Regional Medical Center invites all parents of children, youth, or teens who play sports to attend this important event on how to prevent and properly deal with concussions in sports.

The "Heads Up on Concussions" event will take place Wednesday, May 20th, at the Red Lion in Richland from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.  It coincides with the Center for Disease Control's Heads Up to Youth Sports program.

This event is for parents, coaches, athletes of all sports, school administrators, and athletic trainers.  It will focus on three important aspects of this growing issue in sports:

1) Signs and symptoms of a concussion

2) How to help recognize a concussion

3) What to expect from the healthcare provider who is managing the concussion.

One of the presenters will be Dr. Stan Herring, who is one of the team physicians for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks. Also appearing at the event will be Zachary Lystedt, after whom Washington state's sports concussion law is named, also known as the Lystedt Law.

Zachary is a young man from the Seattle area who at the age of 13, sustained a life-threatening concussion during a youth football game in 2006.  The law is often referred to as the "shake-it-off" law because so many athletes who sustain a severe blow to the head often try to "shake off the cobwebs,"  regain their senses, and continue to play.

Zachary Lystedt (Centers for Disease Control)

Lystedt attempted to do just that after hitting his head on the ground while making a tackle.  Despite writhing on the ground in severe pain and grabbing his helmet, he got to his feet, and after sitting out a handful of plays, returned to the game.  But after the game, he collapsed, and had to be rushed to Harborview Medical Center.

He underwent surgery to relieve pressure on both sides of his head for his swelling brain, sustained multiple strokes, and could not speak for 9 months.  It was several years before he could even walk and talk again.

Spurred on by these events, legislators passed the law that requires an athlete who has sustained, or is believed to have sustained a concussion to be officially cleared by a medical doctor before they can compete again - regardless of how long they are out of action.

This Heads Up event May 20th is open to the public, and parents are especially invited to attend.  An Eventbrite site has been set up for registration and information, just click on button below.