Pop Warner implements concussion-awareness program for kids

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Chris Giella, 10, (left) practices a tackling position on Darron Brammer, 10, of both of Evanston, during a drill at practice of the Evanston Raiders Pop Warner football team at Evanston High School. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times Media

Pop Warner, the country’s largest youth football program, is implementing a concussion-awareness initiative aimed at educating young athletes about how to recognize symptoms of a head injury.

The program is called CrashCourse and was developed with Stanford University education, engineering and medical researchers. It uses an interactive online video of a high school football game and a symptoms simulator.

RELATED:Minimum age for tackle football gets initial OK

Pop Warner has 325,000 participants in its youth football leagues, including cheerleading and dance, with about 225,000 players. Pop Warner officials plan to promote and encourage use of the program to its coaches and local leagues organizers through social media and email.

In recent years, Pop Warner has modified its rules to limit contact to no more than 25 percent of practice time and eliminate kickoffs for certain age groups.

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