GRANITE BAY (CBS13) – It’s the biggest show on Friday night. The dazzling plays, the screaming fans and the big hits. But With those hits come the injuries, and some of the most serious are concussions.
“It used to be if you had a concussion you “got your bell rung” and parents, coaches, and physicians didn’t worry too much about it,” said neuropsychologist Dr. Catherine Broomand.
But not anymore. The suicide of NFL star Junior Seau pushed the Sac-Joaquin Section to try to limit devastating impacts from a concussion.
“For us as administrators, overseeing high school athletics we think it’s a no-brainer,” said Pete Saco, Sac-Joaquin Section Commissioner.
The section teamed up with MindGame, a non-profit group of doctors from the four biggest hospitals in the region hoping to reduce long-term effects of concussions. They provide what is known as a baseline test before a teenager is hurt.
“Memory problems, slow reaction times or processing speed are pretty common after a concussion. If we don’t know where an athlete is starting from, it’s hard to know if there is a change after an injury,” said Dr. Broomand.
The section is pushing all of its nearly 200 schools to sign up with MindGame so players are not rushed back to the field too soon. But even with the dangers, some parents don’t see the need.
“I usually don’t concern myself with it, you know. I figure people are going to get injured walking across the street than anything else than worrying about testing for kids concussions,” said Cathy Harris, a parent.
But the Section Commissioner says concussions are not a game and believes the topic is no longer up for debate.
“These are the leaders of our country the next 30-40 years. They need to be protected and we need to come up with resources to protect those kids,” said Saco.