BERLIN, Md.– With the start of a new school year comes the start of the fall sports season for thousands of Delmarva student athletes. As with many sports, concussions are a big problem, especially in football and soccer- which is why Atlantic Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Berlin is offering a free testing using the Biodex Baseline Testing machine.
Charles Curran, a physical therapist, said the pre-screening process can go a long way in preventing further injury.
“Kids that have concussion, have balance difficulties,” Curran said. “What it does is that it gives us a baseline test so that if they were to have a concussion then they can come back and get screened for their balance again so they can have a post-concussion test.”
Curran said the pre-screening machine, which is the first of its kind on Delmarva, helps doctors and coaches determine when a child can go back to playing sports again.
“It’s become very newsworthy these days about concussions and the NFL and all over the place you hear about how concussions are causing some long-term impairments,” Curran said. “In boxing, football and soccer, head injuries are causing serious cognitive and physical problems later on in life: depression, suicide–things of that nature.”
Todd Lampman brought in his Snow Hill High School girls soccer team for the free testing on Wednesday, which he said is an important step toward ensuring the safety of his players.
“Last year we had several kids that were in really tough collisions and they had head injuries and were being diagnosed with concussion,” Lampman said. “It can be a two-week period before they return to play.”
Jocelyn Snelsire has two young boys who play football and she is taking them for their baseline testing on Thursday.
“Parents have to be their child’s best advocate…that’s the only way to fix it,” Snelsire said, “You can’t rely on somebody else, but it’s nice to have the back up to know because I’m not a medical professional and I want to know if my kids are OK to play and if he is great. And if he’s not, he doesn’t play.”
“It can be really important to keep them healthy in the long run,” Curran said. “It should be out on the forefront about the dangers of the concussions.”
The clinics, based in Berlin and Laurel, Del., will continue to offer the free baseline testing to all local athletes throughout the year.