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Athletic Training Students for Brain Safety group launched

In an effort to better educate the campus and surrounding communities about concussions, students with the Department of Kinesiology’s Athletic Training Program this past fall formed the Athletic Training Students for Brain Safety (ATSBS) group.

Members of the Athletic Training Students for Brain Safety groupThis group, which is an extension of the Association of Athletic Training Students (AATS) organization at UW-Madison, has about 20 members.

“We don’t want to scare people, but at the same time we want to make them aware of the dangers of head injuries and about symptoms related to a concussion so they can protect themĀ­selves,” says Emily Francione, a member of the ATSBS group who is a senior majoring in athletic training. “Because the truth is, you can’t replace your brain.”

It appears to be the perfect time to start such a group, as the topic of concussions in sports continues to garner increased media attention, while Act 172 was signed into law by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in April 2012. This law requires immediate removal of an individual from a youth athletic activity if symptoms indicate a possible concussion has been sustained.

During the course of the 2012-13 academic year, members of the ATSBS group spoke with students involved with club sports about concussions, participated in the Children’s Safety Day at the Madison Children’s Museum, and partnered with University Health Services to put together a brochure that spells out the symptoms of a concussion and tips to avoid head injuries.

Moving forward, members of the group are working on curriculum about brain safety issues that they hope to be able to present within local middle schools during the 2013- 14 academic year.

“One of our goals is to get out in the community and let people know what athletic trainers are and how we can help a range of people,” says Tylee Schraufnagel, another member of the ATSBS group who is a senior majoring in athletic training.

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