Concussion App aims to protect kids playing contact sports

Concussion App aims to protect kids playing contact sports

HUDSON, OH (WOIO) - Doctors diagnose more than three million concussion cases every year, they're working to find ways to help keep athletes safe.

"I didn't let (my son) play football for years because I was afraid of (concussions) and he did (play) his first time last year and he did get a concussion," Nancy Taylor said.

Taylor is like many moms, she was hesitant when her 10-year-old son, Jeremy, wanted to play football. She's seen the studies and knows the dangers. It wasn't long before Jeremy got hurt.

"When I had the concussion it hurt in this spot here, then it hurt here," Jeremy said. "It hurt. I was crying a lot. I went to the emergency room."

"The more concussions an athlete suffers in their lifetime, the larger the risk that they're going to have in regards to long term issues," said Jason Cruickshank, senior athletic trainer at the Cleveland Clinic.

Cruickshank knows concussions can affect the brain pretty badly. That's why he's helping test athletes using the Cleveland Clinic's C3 App to target concussions. It tests reaction time, coordination and balance.

Doctors save athlete's baseline information to use later. They'll be able to spot concussions, tell how bad they are and how long it takes to fully recover and get back on the field.

"Kids with headaches, kids with concussion symptoms, they're miserable at school and they don't perform well and that will reflect in their grades down the road causing anxiety, depression all other sorts of things," said Cruickshank.

According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Dizziness or "seeing stars"
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Appearing dazed
  • Fatigue

"One of my top concerns in even letting (my son) participate is being worried about all the studies you see," said mom Michelle Hushion.

Parents, like Hushion, are happy the Cleveland Clinic is providing tools that'll hopefully help protect their kids.

The C3 App is already being used at nearly 50 schools across the area. It's deployed and serviced by a Cleveland Clinic Athletic Trainer for concussion management.

The app is not something people can download on their smartphones, but it is a device schools can use if they partner with the Cleveland Clinic.

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