Jake Snakenberg: Why His Story Is Important For High School Athletes

Concussions are sometimes referred to as mild-traumatic brain injuries, but they are still very serious and potentially fatal. In 2004, high school football player Jake Snakenberg had been injured in a game with another school, unaware he had received a concussion. For several days, Jake had a strange tingling sensation in his hands and no other symptoms.

On the day of his next game, Jake assured his family he was fine and ready to play. During the game, Jake took a hit and fell over. He attempted to get back up, but was unable to walk. After falling over a second time, he never woke up again.

His mom was watching from the sidelines with an uneasy feeling, waiting and hoping for him to get back up, but he never did. Jake had died from second-impact syndrome, a potentially fatal complication from receiving a concussion. Second-impact syndrome, as the name implies, is a second brain injury that occurs soon after a first concussion.

His mother later told local and national press there were no obvious signs Jake had received a concussion. If coaches had recognized Jake had suffered a concussion during the first game, it is possible he would still be here today.

What Is The Jake Snakenberg Youth Sports Concussion Act?

After Jake’s death, Colorado lawmakers passed the Jake Snakenberg Youth Sports Concussion Act. The legislation requires coaches to undergo concussion training and to remove players suspected of having concussions. Other states have passed similar laws to protect high school athletes.

Even though second-impact syndrome is rare, concussions may have long-term effects on high school athletes. It is important high school athletes obtain immediate treatment and be allowed time to recover after receiving concussions.

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