High school football safety concerns - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Safety concerns after several teen football players died on the field

Hits like this can be dangerous if players aren't protected. (Source: WOIO) Hits like this can be dangerous if players aren't protected. (Source: WOIO)
(WOIO) -

There have been three deaths in the past week and high school football fields around the US. Deaths in football are rare, but head injuries are not. Now, there are new concerns about safety. 

It happened in North Carolina, Alabama and New York. High school players collapsing on the football field. In the latest death in New York, it happened right after a head injury.      

"No hit to the head is good for anybody and all concussions should be taken seriously.  And if someone's complaining of a persistent headache and getting drowsy, you need to get them directly to the hospital immediately," said Dr. Joseph Hannah with MetroHealth Medical Center.  

Concerns about head injuries and brain damage touch all levels of football. We spoke to parents about safety at local football games tonight. 

"The coaches are real good about making sure they are safe, they are healthy,  They are always in tune with them.  They're always checking on them.  I have no fear ever," said Joy Hutchings. 

"It's in the back of my mind.  There is always a danger when you play a contact sport, and a non-contact sport.  It could happen," Jeff Thomas said.  

Head injuries on the field can become severe instantly.  

"It happens fast.  The swelling occurs quickly.  You lose control of the vessels and the vessels got engorged with blood.  There's only so much room in the skull and you got all the blood.  The only thing that can leave the skull is going to be the brain," Dr. Hanna warned. 

According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, an average of 12 high school and college football players die each year. 

Copyright 2014 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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