Reported concussions skyrocket over five year period - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Reported concussions skyrocket over five year period

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BOARDMAN, Ohio -

A new study shows the number of reported concussions among kids skyrocketed over a five year period.  Many experts believe the increase has to do with people's awareness of the issue.

"It doesn't need to take that blow to blow helmet to helmet knocked unconscious.  It could unconscious.  It could be a simple whip last effect.  I see a lot of younger kids where it is just them falling to the ground," said Dr. Christopher Liebig with Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley.

According to a report from Blue Cross Blue Shield, more than 936,000 claims were filed for diagnosed concussions among members between 2010 and 2015.  During that time, adolescent concussions surged 71%.  Dr. Christopher Liebig says it's an issue facing both boys and girls.

"The biggest increase in sports participation are female athletes.  The numbers are increasing just from pure participation standpoint, but we are starting to sort of tease out that, hey girls may actually be more susceptible to these injuries and we are still trying to figure that out," said Dr. Liebig.

So, how many is too many?

"Once may be enough for somebody to reconsider what their options are and we by no means are holding people out of sports when we don't feel it is necessary.  It has got to be a conversation with your doctor on an individual level," said Dr. Liebig.

Dr. Liebig says symptoms of concussion might now show up right away.  In fact, delayed onset of signs and symptoms is more likely in younger athletes.

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