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New survey reveals teens under-report concussions

A new UAMS survey reveals many high school football players ignore the signs of concussion.
A new UAMS survey reveals many high school football players ignore the signs of concussion.

This new survey shows us more than half of the high school football players who felt concussion symptoms did not report them because they did not want to miss any games.

Monday night, Cabot sophomore quarterback Logan Melder has to watch his junior varsity team play from the sidelines. A big hit took Melder out one week ago, giving him a concussion.

"I really don't remember it that much. I just know a guy was coming to the sideline and I go to tackle him and my head hit the ground and I don't remember anything after that," says Melder.

Melder finished playing that game, but soon realized something wasn't right.

"It's not fun. It messes you up, it's confusing, like where you are and everything else," he says.

"The term bell ringer, or got dinged, those are concussions," says Jason Cates, President of the Arkansas Athletic Trainers' Association.

Cates heads up the Arkansas Athletic Trainers' Association and is leading the charge when it comes to teaching parents, coaches and athletes about concussions. He's had a few himself.

"I deal with migraines, not on a daily basis, but it has affected my life," says Cates.

Now, as soon as an athlete reveals symptoms of a concussion, by law they have to go through a five step graduated return to play protocol.

Another new rule this year, if your helmet comes off, you have to come out of the game until your coach or trainer gives you the all clear to go back in.

"It is much better to sit out one game, than to sit out the rest of your career," says Cates.

And, while it is tough to watch his team play without him, Melder understands and appreciates his trainer's concerns.

"I hate missing football games," says Melder.
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