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Survey Estimates Mass. High School Athletes Suffer 35K Concussions Each Year

By Paul Burton, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Paul Burton (Photo: WBZ-TV) Paul Burton
Paul Burton is a general assignment reporter for WBZ-TV News. Burto...
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BOSTON (CBS) — Disturbing information has been released about high school athletes in Massachusetts and head injuries.

Thousands of students are suffering from concussions every year.

With turkey day football games just days away, football teams across the state are getting their final practices in now. The Boston Globe reports Massachusetts student athletes showed a surprising number of sports related head injuries. More than four thousand concussions during the last school year.

“I got hit in the head in a game and I didn’t even think of it at first. I thought I just had a headache, then the doctor told me I had a concussion and was out for two weeks,” Framingham Flyers sophomore Mark Fair said.

Beaver Country Day soccer star Silmar Bueno suffered a serious concussion when he was kneed in the face by a goalie and was out for the rest of the season.

“I have now four titanium plates under my eyes. Soccer is my life and noting will stop me and it was the longest period of time I was away,” Bueno said.

According to the Mass Youth Health Survey more than 17-percent of student athletes report having a head injury in the last year. There are more than 200,000 student athletes in the state; therefore the Department of Public Health says the number of concussions occurring in this population could be estimated at 35,000 each year.

Dr. Neal McGrath is with Sports Concussion New England. He says the key to reduce concussions is awareness.

“Have awareness of what can happen in a concussion, what the symptoms look like and the risks are they can make the good decision to recognize concussion immediately step out of play and not return until fully recovered,”McGrath said.

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