Concussions impacting youth sports


Preventing concussions on the field has become a priority for professional and amateur leagues.

Medical experts said that every time he or she has a concussion, his or her risk of getting another one is four to six times higher.  For one young athlete, one concussion made the danger seem all too real.

Colton Kramer has been playing contact sports for most of his life.

"I've always been an aggressive player in football and hockey," Kramer said.

But last year while out on the ice someone was aggressive with him.

"I kind of staggered up, uh, went to the bench and everything was fuzzy," he said.

Kramer had a concussion, but at first, he didn't even know it until he started getting headaches.

"So eventually I talked to my mom and I was like we should probably go to the doctor.

And it's a good thing he did.

"The younger you are the higher the risk because of the fact you still have an immature, developing brain," said Dr. Scott Bilyeu of St. Mary's Hospital. "There's lots of symptoms and signs that you can look for, for example, headache, dizziness feeling off balance, sensitivity to light or noise, neck pain."

Those symptoms are a result of a shock to the head which can be compared to Jello in a bowl. The Jello is your brain and the bowl is your skull. Get hit and the brain rattles.

"That is the number one major thing you can do for treatment of concussions just rest your brain," Dr. Bilyeu said.

Sounds like a teenager's dream but not for Kramer.

"No cell phone, no music, no TV for it was three days," Kramer said.

Today his mom is willing to take extra precaution even if it means her wallet takes a hit.

"Last time we bought a helmet it's just like pick a good one, you know, it doesn't mean you need to pick the cheapest one," Dawn Kramer said. "Just pick a good one."

Because her son's health doesn't have a price tag on it.

Dr. Bilyeu said that women experience a higher rate of concussions. In fact women's hockey is the top sport for rate of concussions per player followed by football and men's hockey.

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