OAKLAND (KCBS) – A new effort is being launched to prevent serious head injuries for young athletes in California.

As students start heading back to the classroom for the new school year, that also means the return of high school football in the Bay Area.

But health experts are raising a warning flag about the risk of concussive head injuries in football and other youth sports.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

“We want people to be aware of these injuries,” said Dr. Eric Freitag, co-chair of the new California Concussion Coalition, which hopes to educate student athletes and coaches about head injuries.

Freitag took part in an advanced concussion training course for parents and coaches at Skyline High School in Oakland on Tuesday.

He said concussions don’t have to be scary if they’re diagnosed and managed properly.

“What is scary is that if athletes have these injuries and they’re not identified and they’re going back out to play when their brain is still injured,” Freitag said.

Sam Foresman is a concerned coach and said concussion awareness is on the rise.

“I coach youth soccer for girls and most people don’t think about it so much for that target audience, but it is an issue,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said concussion rates for athletes have more than doubled in the last decade.

For more information, visit sportslegacy.org/concussion-coalition/california-concussion-coalition-northern-chapter

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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