Coaches and trainers should continue to take concussions very seriously, as the consequences can have life-changing implications for young athletes. One of the worst consequences that can befall student athletes is second impact syndrome, where two concussions occur within a short period. Second impact syndrome can cause severe and lifelong disability for young athletes.
The case of a Washington man can show us why it is extremely important for coaches, trainers and even athletes to recognize the symptoms of concussions. When the football player was 13, he was badly shaken up after receiving a tackle during a game. Instead of being pulled out by coaches, he went back out onto the field. Towards the end of the game, he suffered a second concussion and his life changed forever.
After the game had finished, the teenage athlete complained he was unable to see. Minutes later, he was having seizures and was rushed to the closest hospital. Doctors were able to save his life, but he was in a coma for three months. It took 13 months before he could even move again. The young teenager had to relearn skills such as walking, talking and eating. Nine years after his injury, he is still in rehabilitation, but fighting to ensure other athletes will not suffer the same fate.
Today, the young man has a state law named after him and serves as a reminder on the importance of concussion education among coaches and trainers.
The Jake Snakenberg Youth Concussion Act – How Colorado Prevents Second Impact Syndrome
This very sad story can show why it is so important for coaches and trainers to keep players suspected of having concussions off the field. In Colorado, we have the Jake Snakenberg Youth Concussion Act, which requires coaches and trainers to undergo concussion training. Many other states have followed Colorado’s example and have enacted similar legislation.
In the best-case scenario, future accidents such as the one we have shared with you today can be averted.