STUDY: Many HS athletes ignore concussion symptoms

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Concussions continue to be a major concern in athletics. However, a recent study shows many local high school athletes ignore concussion symptoms.

The Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center interviewed 120 local high school football players in the summer of 2012. The report showed that the majority would continue to play despite having symptoms of a concussion.

The study found over 90% of these athletes are educated and know the consequences of continuing to play through a concussion, but the problem is that over 50% responded that they continue to play with a headache sustained from an injury.

Moeller senior Shane Jones is no stranger to hard hits on the football field. Next year, he's continuing his career at Michigan State. Luckily for him, he's avoided any concussions during his career he says mainly because he listens to his coaches.

"You might only miss one play but it's just good enough to come off the field and get checked out," said Jones.

The recent study shows that only 54% of players indicated they would "always or sometimes report symptoms of a concussion to their coach. Jones says he's not completely surprised to hear this.

"I think it's just the feeling of being out there and being with your teammates and wanting to fight through because you don't want to seem as some people say soft by saying you're coming off the field by saying your hurt in some way," said Jones.

"I think what they have to realize is that they'll get back on the field quicker if they get off the field and get the headache taken care of," explained Moeller High School's Head Football Coach, John Rodenberg.

Of the 120 football players surveyed, Dr. Brit Anderson with Children's Hospital says 30 reported having suffered a concussion, while 82 said they've received prior education related to concussions.

"We were surprised and a little bit disappointed to find that despite this knowledge, it seemed that they would still hesitate to report symptoms and would still continue to play," said Dr. Anderson.

Coach Rodenberg says as important as it is to teach players the proper technique to avoid injury, forming a level of trust with them is key.

"They're not afraid to communicate with us that they're hurt and so forth and we make sure to get them the top care that we can," said Rodenberg.

"We see concussions all the time as you might imagine and really see how difficult they can be for an athlete and their family and it's important to be able to identify these players that have suffered a concussion to keep them safe," revealed Dr. Anderson.

Dr. Anderson says they're conducting more research with local high school football athletes and soon hope to study other sports, including girls athletics to see if there are similar patterns.

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