WASHINGTON (CBS4) – A Colorado mother whose son died 12 years ago after a collision on a high school football field spoke to lawmakers in Washington on Friday and pushed for more research into the unknowns surrounding concussions.
Kelli Jantz, mother of Jake Snakenberg, was one of several family members of young people who have sustained concussions who spoke at a House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing Friday morning.
Snakenberg, a Grandview High School Freshman, died in 2004 after taking a hit one week after he is believed to have suffered a concussion that he and his family never knew he had.
As a mom and a nurse, Jantz says she doesn’t want what happened to her son to happen to anyone else.
“These children are our future and it’s our responsibility as parents and coaches, teachers, medical professionals, policy makers and the community as a whole to make sure we do all we can to support the necessary culture change to make youth sports as safe as possible and protect our children as well as to provide appropriate treatment and assistance should a concussion occur,” she told the subcommittee, which includes Rep. Diana DeGette.
DeGette, a Democrat who represents Colorado’s 1st Congressional District, said she wants to see young players succeed in sports but not at the cost of their health.
The hearing is the latest effort to gain a better understanding of many still-unknown issues related to concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
In 2012, the Jake Snakenberg Act was signed into law in Colorado. It requires coach education on recognizing a concussion, among other safety measures.
Experts said that student athletes, their peers, and their families play a crucial of a role in recognizing brain injury symptoms.