Concussions: The Difference Between Professional and High School - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Concussions: The Difference Between Professional and High School Athletes

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No sports enthusiast will ever forget the goal line collision between Pittsburgh Steelers' Le'Veon Bell and Baltimore Ravens' Jimmy Smith or when Detroit Tigers Catcher Alex Avila was drilled by David Ross of the Boston Red Sox.

Both of these plays caused two serious concussions and both of these athletes returned to play about a week later.

But that's professional sports.

When a high school athlete suffers a severe concussion, it could take weeks before they are back on the field. That's for multiple reasons.

"They too have to go through certain criteria, just like our high school athletes do. However, they are being monitored 24/7. Seven days a week, 365 days a year by the medical staff. They have somebody with them pretty much at all times," said Mike Casselman, HealthWorks.

In high school, it's a different story.

"Though we have athletic trainers there on a daily basis, there might be a day or two gap where the communication isn't there," Casselman added.

The issue of 'chronic encephalipathy' in many NFL players has been receiving a great deal of media attention. In the cases of retired players, it appears most had long careers in the NFL after playing in both high school and college.

In most cases, they played football for more than 20 years and suffered multiple concussions in addition to hundreds of other blows to the head.

But its not just football players that can receive a concussion and its not just from helmet to helmet impact.

"It can be by whip lash. It could be from a quick fall," said Frank Moore, Marion County Athletic Director. "Football would be one you would think. But soccer has a lot of concussions, along with basketball."

Casselman agreed.

"I'm telling you. A big one is cheerleading. People might not think that. It's very competitive in this area. You have the bases that are catching the flyers. They take an elbow, they take a knee," Casselman said.

While many professional athletes blame concussions for their memory loss and depression, little is known about the long term effects concussions can have on high school athletes.

"No concussion is the same and you need to take a very serious approach if they have any of the signs and symptoms," Moore said.

Next week we will take a deeper look into the long term effects a concussion can have.

For previous stories on concussions, click on the link.

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