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Chicago Bears host football safety clinic for moms

Mothers of area youth football players huddled Tuesday night at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, all in the name of game safety.
October 30, 2013 5:29:58 AM PDT
Mothers of Chicago-area youth football players huddled Tuesday night at Halas Hall in Lake Forest -- all in the name of game safety. The Chicago Bears event was the first-of-its-kind safety clinic for moms to be hosted by an NFL team.

They're typically watching from the sidelines, but on Tuesday night hundreds of Chicago area football moms experienced what it's like to tackle someone-- and be tackled.

League commissioner Roger Goodell, Bears chairman George McCaskey, former players and health experts were on hand to answer a variety of questions about preventing injuries, but the big focus was on concussions.

The NFL recently reached a settlement with former players who sued the league, accusing it of concealing the dangers of concussions.

"We want you to have information, we don't want you to rely on myth and misunderstanding," said George McCaskey, chairman, Chicago Bears.

And it seems information may be the key, not only for parents.

"Sometimes kids don't report a concussion because they just don't really know what they're feeling is a concussion. So we need to get to the parents and athletes so they understand and can say something's not right," said McCaskey.

Tara Quinn is the wife of a coach and her two stepsons play football, but thinks she and other moms are often afraid to speak up. That changed for her tonight.

"Now I actually feel empowered that we can say something and that we should say something because we should be alert and aware of everything that's going on," said Quinn.

"That's why this is important because these women I think will go back to their schools or their youth programs and they will be involved, they will be educated from tonight," said Connie Payton.

A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics warns young athletes shouldn't return to school too quickly after a concussion, saying they may appear normal but have trouble learning new things.


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