Concussion concerns grow in high school football

Concussion concerns grow in high school football

(WOIO) - Football can be a violent sport, and injuries on the field are part of the game. But there's a growing concern over concussions among some doctors and parents of children who play the game.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association has reported 26 football concussions so far this year. Last year ended with 101 concussions caused by playing football in the state.

Although football is a traditional part of fall in Ohio for hundreds of families, some parents are so concerned they're pulling their kids out of the game.

On Thursday night, Kamelya Walker cheered on her son Queshawn as the Berea-MidPark Titans took on the Olmsted Falls Bulldogs in a freshman football game. But his safety and recent news about concussion was not far from his mind.

"I tell him always to make sure your gear is together, protect yourself at all costs. And understand when you feel light headed or dizzy, let officials know. It's important," Walker said.

Some parents are worried enough to tell their sons to put down the ball.

ESPN reports participation in Pop Warner Youth Football d ropped nearly 10 percent from 2010 to 2012.

In a new CBS report, we learned some high schools across the country, like Maplewood Richmond Heights in Missouri, d ropped their football programs all together.

Nevertheless, football is still king when it comes to sports.

"They've been doing it a long time. I don't think it's going to stop right now. They just need better technology with the helmets and everything, just to be more safe," said Mario Minor, a parent of a high school football player.

Sharon Spellacy can't help worrying about her son, Jack, when he's on the field.

"We all worry as parents, having our kids out on the field out there and getting hit. And you hear horror stories as your kids grow up on the field," she said.

She puts the risks in perspective.

"There's a fine line. You want them to play well. You want them to not get hurt. But this is what growing up is about. This is a part of their history in high school," Spellacy said.

Football isn't the only sport dealing with concussions. According to last year's OHSAA statistics, soccer players had just as many concussions between girls and boys teams. Combined, the sport saw 100 concussions last year in Ohio.

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