It's almost time for high school football practice to begin, and coaches, trainers, and every adult on the sidelines has new instructions to be ever vigilant against concussions, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  "More of the same really that we've said before," said Dr. Christian Balldin of the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, one of the region's experts on sports medicine and sports injuries.


  "Cautious return to play, also that you need to be evaluated by somebody who has training in evaluating concussions."


  The American Academy of Neurology guidelines stress that any athlete even suspected of experiencing a concussion should 'immediately be removed from play, and not returned until assessed by a licensed health care professional trained in concussion.'


  Dr. Balldin says there is a good reason for those guidelines.


  "A majority of concussions don't involve loss of consciousness, in fact, 90% of them do not," he said.  "But even though a patient has not lost their consciousness, they still need to be promptly evaluated."


  Dr. Balldin says new research shows that high school athletes take longer to recover from a concussion than older athletes.  And he says no high school football player wants to be taken out of the game, so it's up to the grown ups to step in.


  "Anyone from the athletic trainers all the way up through the coaches and physical therapists and the physicians themselves," will be on the lookout for any evidence of concussion.


  They have also been trained to be aware of the subtle signs of a concussion, and to sense when a player is trying to mask his symptoms because he doesn't want to be benched.