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      As football season draws closer, concussion safety is on the minds of parents

      Pop Warner football has already started practices this season.

      T his evening at Henninger High School in Syracuse. Hundreds of Pop Warner coaches and parents were taught how to recognize the warning signs of concussions as the start of football and cheerleading is already upon us.

      Ryan Connolly is an Athletic Trainer who was one of the presenters this evening. "It's really important and one of the things we talked about was setting realistic goals. The number one goal for youth athletics should be fun. When you hurt things aren't fun. It's important for parents, as a parent myself that we realize what it's all about," says Connolly.

      Safe Kids Upstate New York teamed up with Central New York Pop Warner for the second time to bring the message to everyone here that while dreams of a future Sunday may burn bright, their child's safety on an upcoming Saturday should never be overlooked.

      Earl Darisaw was at the meeting today with CNY Pop Warner. "You are not in the NFL, you are not living your life through these kids. They're five and six years old, their attention span is yep that long and this is what you have to do," says Darisaw.

      Some of the signs of a concussion which everyone learned here today are slurred speech, clumsy movement and loss of short term memory.

      Susan Brawdy is the CNY Cheer Commissioner and was at tonight's meeting. "It's nothing to take lightly, a brain injury on a child is the most traumatic thing. You want to make sure that you are taking in every aspect of that and make sure that they are safe at every time they're on the mat or on the field," says Brawdy.

      Both are places where thousands of kids throughout the area can be seen this fall in front of coaches who picked up some safety tips this evening at Henninger High School.