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Football Concussions Endanger High School Students

In the first week of October, three great students across the country lost their lives due to football.

Demario Harris, 17, collapsed during his high school football game in Alabama. Isaiah Langston, a junior, collapsed during his pregame warm ups in North Carolina just two days before Harris. Not even a week later, Tom Cutinella collapsed after a collision during his game in Long Island. The injuries, and now deaths, from the sport seem to be getting worse, yet not much has changed.

Concussions and injuries have always been an issue for football players but now they are more prominent than ever. “Players are getting bigger, stronger, and faster,” says Coach Sean Ireland, “so the chances of getting a concussion are much bigger.”

Injuries, whether minor or severe, always affect the team as a whole, especially if the kids cannot play for periods of time. “We have made rules about the amount of live contact in practice,” says Ireland. They have done this to reduce the amount of injuries but, “concussions can happen at any time.”

Events with the National Football League regarding head injuries had also raised awareness about this serious issue. According to the Norwalk High School athletic trainer, Masayoshi Shoji, “Doctors are more cautious of head injuries because of the NFL and the lawsuits about head injuries.” Just five years ago, the precautions that trainers were required to take have changed. “When you got a head injury, you could still go into a game fifteen minutes after showing no symptoms,” says Masa, “but it’s rapidly changing. Now you would be taken out of the game.” He says it’s such a serious issue because doctors have not solved the diagnosis and treatment.

Although there have been several freak accidents in football, including the three young men who had lost their lives this year, it is not the only sport that brings injuries to the players. Yes, football is a high contact sport, but it does not have the highest concussion rate of high school sports. “There’s this big misconception that concussions are only in football, but it’s not just football,” says Ireland, “Girls soccer has the highest concussion rate.”  Other sports like ice and field hockey, baseball, lacrosse, and more have nearly the same chances of getting concussions as football.

Changing the legality of certain hits in football or decreasing the amount of live contact may decrease the chances of concussions and injuries, but they will always be an issue for football players.

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How the Bears make their mark
Football Concussions Endanger High School Students