Middle, high schools to receive free concussion testing program

Each year, up to 3.8 million recreation- and sports-related concussions occur in the United States, with adolescents accounting for the majority of those injuries.

In response, Dick’s Sporting Goods has developed a program to help keep young athletes safe.

The sporting goods retailer launched PACE (Protecting Athletes through Concussion Education), which teams with ImPACT, a computerized concussion evaluation systems.

Through PACE, up to 1 million athletes from more than 3,300 middle and high schools across the country will receive their first-year ImPACT test program and concussion education for free, making it the largest concussion baseline testing initiative ever created.

As part of the PACE program, middle and high schools new to the ImPACT program can obtain testing for up to 300 student athletes ($500 value) free of charge for one year.

Now through Sept. 12, Dick’s Sporting Goods will donate $1 to PACE program for every pair of athletic shoes purchased in any of its 449 U.S. stores or online at http://www.dickssportinggoods.com.

In addition, the retailer will donate an additional $1 when consumers post about PACE on the Dick’s Sporting Goods Facebook page, tweet about PACE with the #DSGPACE hashtag or check-in to a Dick’s Sporting Goods location on Facebook Places or Foursquare.

The testing program, ImPACT, begins with a 20-minute baseline test that is administered in the preseason. If a concussion is suspected later, another post-injury test is administered by trained clinicians.

The program evaluates multiple aspects of brain function including memory, processing speed, reaction time and post-concussive symptoms, allowing doctors to make safe return-to-play decisions and reducing the possibility of long-term neurological effects.

So far, more than 2 million people — ranging from soldiers to athletes from high schools, colleges and professional sports teams — have passed through the ImPACT program.

For more information about the PACE program, visit http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/PACE.

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