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One in four teens in the U.S. report they've suffered at least one concussion

Posted at 2:10 PM, Sep 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 16:10:50-04

If you have a kid in sports, you know that injuries are a part of the game. But unlike sprained ankles, skinned knees and even broken bones, there's one injury that you might not be able to see -- a concussion.

A recent study done by the University of Michigan School of Nursing found about one in four teens in the United States reports suffering at least one concussion.

Ben Clayson, 15, is one of them. He's loves sports and plays on flag football, basketball and soccer teams. He also golfs.

But a couple of years ago he suffered a concussion during a football game. He says he remembers waking up on the field, and a doctor asking him questions.

Ben seemed fine, so he went right from that game to his soccer game where his uncle was his coach.

"I kind of watched him a little closer during warm ups and everything seemed normal," says Ryan Lemon, the Soccer Coach.

But a few minutes later, Ben was not OK. Lemon says he just started acting "not himself". It took him weeks to get back to normal.

Dr. Betsy Reese with Lone Peak Hospital says concussions are head injuries that usually happen during whiplash-like motions, when the brain moves around in the skull.

She says it's important that teens self-report these injuries because many times parents and coaches don't see every play or every player.

Some symptoms to watch for include: headaches, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, confusion, or just not feeling "right".

Dr. Reese says it's important to get checked early on because symptoms can be reduced and long-lasting effects could be prevented.

She goes on to say, "Adults need to not forget that as an adult you can still get a head injury and that can have lots of long-lasting effects because it can affect your level of activity."

One of the most common causes of concussion in adults is a car crash, but Dr. Reese says she sees a lot of "weekend warriors" who get their "bell rung" riding mountain bikes and skiing.

It's important that kids and adults alike get fresh air and exercise by playing sports, but just make sure to keep an eye on anyone who gets hurt.

As for Ben he's still playing all his favorite sports but he says, "I don't want to get a concussion again, or ya, have that experience again."

That's a call his coach is behind 100 percent. "It's much more important a player is safe than the outcome of the game," Lemon says.

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