Safety Guide for Parents

Our program stresses a number of key issues in order to promote player safety. These include proper helmet fitting, recognition/appropriate management of concussion signs and symptoms, recognition/management of heat/hydration issues, rethinking practice methodology (levels of contact) to reduce the total number of hits sustained and teaching new methods of blocking and tackling (Heads Up & Tip of the Spear).

You can download a complete parent guide to youth football put together by USA Football here:

USA Parent Football Guide

Football is a contact sport, and even with the safety measures we have put in place we must be diligent as coaches and parents in looking for warning signs of injury.  Below is a guide put out by USA Football to help recognize signs and symptoms of concussions.

Concussion Identification


Graduated Return to Play Protocol (following concussion)

This is a series of physical challenges our players must successfully complete (without increasing symptoms each day) to return to full activity–only one step per day. If symptoms recur, we stop, rest that day and the next before retrying that level:

  • Step 1: No symptoms at rest and able to tolerate a normal day of activity in school or social situations without increasing symptoms (and obtain medical clearance to move to Step 2)
  • Step 2: increase heart rate without any head movement (light aerobic exercise such as walking or stationary exercise bicycle for 20 minutes at <70% of maximum heart rate); no strength training.
  • Step 3: Increase heart rate with full head and body movement (jogging for 20 minutesat same level of intensity as in Step 2)
  • Step 4: Begin simple drills (no sprinting, no contact; OK to start weight training).
  • Step 5: More complex drills and practice (no contact); obtain medical clearance to move to Step 6.
  • Step 6: Full practice with sprinting, contact and scrimmage time.
  • Step 7: Return to normal exertional and competitive activity

Heat Problems

Key to prevention is adequate acclimatization, hydration and common sense in running practices

Remember: if player needs hospital, cool before transporting (key to survival of heat stroke)


  • The inability to continue exercise in the heat from either weakness or exhaustion.
  • May feel hot, tired, sweating a lot, weak, dizzy and don’t feel able to continue exercise.

· Causes: Excessive fluid loss/electrolyte loss; dehydration less blood available for working muscles/skin to give off heat.

· Treatment

  1. Remove athlete from activity and put in shaded/cool area.
  2. Lay on the ground with legs raised about 12 inches.
  3. Replenish lost fluids.
  4. Moderate cooling methods such as ice towels, misting fans, or cold water immersion.


  • Painful, localized muscle cramps, might feel like they are “wandering” throughout the cramping muscle.
  • Usually visible, the muscle will feel hard.

· Causes: fatigue, dehydration and electrolyte losses through sweat; lack of heat acclimatization, poor fitness.

· Treatment

  1. Rehydration with water and sport drinks.
  2. Some light stretching or massage with ice on the cramping muscle.


· A fainting or lightheadedness episode.

· Causes: lack of heat acclimatization, poor fitness; blood pooling in lower extremities reducing the heart’s ability to provide enough circulation.

· Treatment

  1. Lay athlete on the ground and raise their legs about 12 inches.
  2. This helps blood go back to the heart to normalize blood pressure.


· Combination of: Incredibly Hot SkinDizziness and Fainting, Extreme Fatigue, Nausea,VomitingRapid HeartbeatMental ConfusionSeizuresLack of SweatingSevere Headache

  • Medical emergency requiring immediate cooling and ER