Central Unified has new tool to keep student athletes safe

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The "Sway" app tests each student to create a baseline for their balance and motion reaction. The information is stored onto the app and can help trainers prevent injuries. (KFSN)

Central Unified is using new technology to better protect student athletes from concussions.

Central Unified's head athletic trainer Cortney Avery tested two student-athletes with a new app called "Sway."

"So it goes through a series of 10 tests," she explained. "The 10 tests help assess the symptoms that an individual has for concussion it helps assess their balance as well as their motion reaction time."

The new technology is helping Central Unified keep better track of its student-athletes and to prevent fewer injuries. The app tests each student to create a baseline for their balance and motion reaction. The information is stored into the app.

At a game or practice, if one of them starts to feel dizzy or shows signs of a possible concussion they use the app to do the tests again to see how far they are from their original baseline.

"What this does is it asks those questions that they have to hopefully be truthful in answering but then also in assessing the balance and motion reaction time those are things they can't try and sneak around to try and get back into the game," Avery said.

"I've had concussions before and I've been able to fake out trainers before to get back into the game," student-athlete Jake Rohrmann said. "But with this baseline test you're not allowed to do that. It's foolproof, almost."

Central Unified spent less than $5,000 for the technology with the goal of keeping kids safe.

"They're competitors," Central Unified athletic director Daren Pittman said. "They don't want to let their teammates down so there's always that piece where they might have been not sure where they're at and they come off the sideline for a breather."

"I think it helps out a lot of players," student-athlete Tiago Paim said. "Because you see a lot of big hits out on the field and some people don't know they have a concussion."

Central Unified will enroll all the athletes involved in contact sports first and that's about 500 students. By the end of the year, more than 1,000 student-athletes will be using the technology."

The school district also said the data can also be helpful for the students' doctors who may need the information in case of an injury.
Related Topics:
educationathletesappcentral unified school districtfresnoconcussiontechnologyFresno
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