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Doctors Throw Flags On High School Concussions - featured February 7, 2011

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[Source: NPR.org]

In the Super Bowl this weekend, any player who takes a shot to the head and shows signs of a concussion will be taken out of the game. But it's a different story for high school athletes, who sometimes play on despite a head injury.

So the NFL, the American College of Sports Medicine and a long list of other groups are joining together to support state laws designed to protect the brains of young athletes.

The groups say they're concerned because each year more than 60,000 high school athletes sustain a concussion. It's an injury that temporarily affects brain function, though it may or may not cause a person to lose consciousness.

It's not just football players who get concussions — it's male and female athletes involved in soccer, wrestling, basketball, baseball, field hockey — even volleyball. Many of these athletes never get an evaluation that would reveal their injury.

"Unfortunately, kids at the youth sports level don't have neurosurgeons, neurologists and some of the finest doctors on the sidelines," says Jeff Miller, a senior vice president of the National Football League. "It's just not practicable."

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Tags: News of the Week TBI Newsletter 11 February 2011