Lawmakers Raising Awareness About Concussions in Children

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 Springfield - In sports the bigger the play the bigger the thrill, but that big hit can come with a big risk according to a leading doctor in sports medicine.

Dr. Cynthia Labella, medical director of the Institute of Sports Medicine at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago said that, "I can say that about 50% of those injuries are concussions.  I see on average every week between 10 and about 15 new concussions."

Those concussions can cause problems that include memory loss, irritability, and depression.

In some cases, those problems have lead some athletes, like former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson, to take their own lives.

"He was exposed to repetitive hits to the head.  He described the suffering to me and my family in a letter he left to us prior to taking his own life," said Tregg Duerson, Dave's son.

More athletes are being properly diagnosed with concussions these days.  Now the concern is that while they're good enough to return to the field of play, they may night be good enough to return the classroom.  

This legislation would make sure that the schools are doing what they can to get these students to return to learn.

Chicago state senator Kwame Raoul said that,"it's also about how you return to the classroom and how you accommodate for the fact that somebody who's suffered such an injury is impacted in the classroom."

Currently, with high school athletics, coaches and sports teams must follow IHSA protocol before players can return to the game after showing concussion-like symptoms.  This bill would do the same for younger players as well.

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