BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The start of football season brings a renewed conversation about concussions. A health professional explains what to look for and how to protect against them.

Ochsner Baton Rouge Primary Care Sports Medicine Physician, Sean Bradley, said he will see more concussions during the football season.  

“It’s more common in soccer, cheerleading, and sports like that. However, football is definitely the most common sport that we see it in and very common to see it on a Friday night,” said Bradley.

Bradley emphasized now is the time for parents and coaches to be on high alert. He said first the mechanism must be identified.

“First look at the mechanism. Was it a head-to-head blow, helmet-to-helmet, helmet-to-ground,” asked Bradley.

Bradley also said once the mechanism is identified look for symptoms.  

“That can be anything from a loss of consciousness, nausea, vomiting, any sort of neck pain associated with that,” said Bradley.

Other symptoms include loss of balance, feeling dazed, headache and much more. In the meantime, the NFL and college teams have implemented strategies to prevent head injuries.

“Culture, tackling technique and you’ll see this in the NFL if you watch any of the hard knocks or preseason, you’re going to see athletes wearing what they’re called guardian caps. If you watch LSU this summer and watch their practice, there will be selective players wearing their guardian caps as well, which I think will gain more and more steam over time,” said Bradley.

In addition, Ochsner provides training to local high school coaches. The hospital has teamed up with the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.  

Summer training courses are also available to coaches.  

“We are lucky enough with Ochsner to have athletic trainers at all of our high schools that we take care of. We really rely heavily on our athletic trainers on the field and hinge on them to be our guidance as well,” said Bradley.  

He also said trainers can also conduct concussion tests on the sidelines and it’s helpful if players speak up.

“There are going to be concussions this year, there are going to be head injuries and I think if we can be as safe as possible and have an open dialogue with our student-athletes, I think we can get them back to sport and back to loving what they do as soon as we can,” said Bradley.