NAPLES, Fla. - The number of ER visits by kids for brain injuries increased dramatically in the last decade. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, nearly a quarter million young athletes went to the ER in 2009, up 60% from 2001. Increased awareness among parents and coaches is the main reason for the increase.
Debra Pelitera of Naples knows the dangers of a concussion. Her son, who plays on the freshman football team for Barron Collier High School, had a concussion in middle school.
"We obviously took him to the emergency room to have him check, but it was really scary," said Pelitera.
"I know the coaches are trained in making sure that any injury is carefully checked."
As a football mom for several year, Missy Heuerman has seen the great progress on the field regarding concussion awareness.
"They're taught in practice how to take a hit, never to lead with your head," said Heuerman, who has three sons who play football.
Football is by far the leading sport for concussions, though children can receive an injury in any sport. Even if they are playing on the playground.
32 states have some sort of law regarding young athletes and concussions that require the kids to sit out a certain length of time after a concussion. Similar legislation has not passed in Florida. However, the Florida High School Athletic Association requires all coaches to take a concussion course.