By Melissa Garcia

DENVER (CBS4)– New technology is helping kids to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

“Concussion goggles” helped students at McAuliffe International School learn how it feels to walk after suffering a brain injury.

Research suggests that nearly a third of athletes have suffered an un-diagnosed concussion. The mother of one victim wants to change that.

“We didn’t have probably all of the knowledge that we needed, even as medical professionals, watching our child play sports,” said Kelli Jantz, the mother of Jake Snakenberg.

Snakenberg, a Grandview High School Freshman, died in 2004 after taking a second hit on the football field. The hit came one week after Snakenberg is believed to have suffered a concussion that he and his family never knew he had.

Karen McAvoy, Director of Psychology at the Center for Concussion is working to educate students about concussions both on and off the field.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“Do you have to have a hit to the head?” McAvoy asked at her presentation to a 7th grade gym class.

“No,” answered the students in unison. And they were correct.

“Coaches and athletic trainers are not always on the sidelines,” said McAvoy. “What we really want is for kids to recognize it in their own teammates and in their classmates.”

Aidan Stewart tried on a pair of concussion goggles to experience a simulation of symptoms.

“Distorted vision. I feel kind of dizzy, and my balance is kind of offset,” Stewart explained.

Stewart and his classmates planned to write letters to congress asking for more stringent sport injury regulations.

Jake Snakenberg (credit: CBS)

Jake Snakenberg (credit: CBS)

“Maybe have a professional always come in no matter how hard they got hit,” said Jeremy Cope, another 7th grader.

Jantz hoped that future legislation along with increased awareness would prevent more tragic deaths like that of Jake.

“With the knowledge we have now, we would have approached it differently,” said Jantz, of her son’s initial injury.

In 2012, the Jake Snakenberg Act was signed into law. It requires coach education on recognizing a concussion, among other safety measures.

Experts said that student athletes, their peers, and their families play just as crucial of a role in recognizing brain injury.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

Comments

Leave a Reply