CANFIELD, Ohio - Football gets people on their feet, fans screaming and athletes' adrenaline pumping, but unfortunately injuries from the sport are quick to silence all of that.
"We watch the game, so we know when a kid takes a head shot I go right up to them afterwards, but sometimes more than one kid gets hurt on a play and so it is important that everyone observe," said Dr. James Kerrigan with Youngstown Orthopaedic Associates.
Dr. Kerrigan, who also serves as a team physician for a local high school, says that while the most common injuries among football players' remains sprains and strains, concussions are still prevalent despite improved equipment and tougher rules.
"Kids who get a concussion often times don't come up to the doctor and say, 'Hey, my head hurts' because they know if they tell me their head hurts they are not going to play," said Dr. Kerrigan.
That can have some very serious consequences and lead to even more complex injuries. To cut down on those, Dr. Kerrigan says athletes must wear helmets and shoulder pads that fit.
"Sometimes kids want bigger shoulder pads or smaller shoulder pads because it makes them look bigger. Or quarterback shoulder pads so they can throw better, but quarterback shoulder pads are smaller. So probably the single biggest preventative thing you can do for football is make sure your equipment fits well," said Dr. Kerrigan.
Every Saturday during football season, physicians at Youngstown Orthopaedic Associates will host Saturday Sports Clinics from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. During the clinics, physicians will evaluate sports related injuries. Athletes must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for treatment.