Youth safety program gets medical support

INDIANAPOLIS — USA Football's Heads Up Football program has become the first youth sports program to earn official support from three major medical entities.

The American College of Sports Medicine, the National Athletic Trainers Association, and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society, organizations representing more than 80,000 medical professionals, have approved the youth football initiative.

The PFATS is the latest to partner with USA Football to advance youth and high school football player safety by endorsing Heads Up Football. PFATS includes more than 100 certified athletic trainers who serve NFL teams.

Nearly 2,800 youth football leagues representing approximately 600,000 players in 50 states and Washington, D.C., have registered for Heads Up Football in 2013. The program is being piloted on the high school level this fall in 35 schools spanning 10 states.

"Athlete safety is advanced through education, and that is the heart of USA Football's Heads Up Football program," PFATS President John Norwig said. "Education converts awareness into action. This program is establishing needed standards and behavior modification built upon the best medical science and research. Young athletes deserve this level of commitment. We are proud to endorse it."

Heads Up Football includes coach certification, safer tackling techniques, concussion recognition and response protocols.


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