New data on concussions in young football players - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New data on concussions in young football players

Posted: Updated:
The football helmets used by the LVPRA The football helmets used by the LVPRA
South Georgia youth performing drills during pop warner football practice South Georgia youth performing drills during pop warner football practice
George Page demonstrating the safety features on their new helmets George Page demonstrating the safety features on their new helmets
Eric Stiefel Eric Stiefel
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Lee Co. Woman speaks out about scary home invasion

    Lee Co. Woman speaks out about scary home invasion

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:20:01 GMT
    A Lee County woman says she'll think twice before opening her front door after a frightening home invasion.Tonya Stewart says Friday night a group of young people rushed inside her home and beat her up.Her husband ran to help. In the meantime, her 2-year-old niece suffered a busted lip.Stewart ended up with bruises and a black eye.“I just felt like my house was in danger and my life was in danger. I felt like I was gonna be killed or someone in my house was gonna be killed. I had a little gir...More >>
    A Lee County woman says she'll think twice before opening her front door after a frightening home invasion.Tonya Stewart says Friday night a group of young people rushed inside her home and beat her up.Her husband ran to help. In the meantime, her 2-year-old niece suffered a busted lip.Stewart ended up with bruises and a black eye.“I just felt like my house was in danger and my life was in danger. I felt like I was gonna be killed or someone in my house was gonna be killed. I had a little gir...More >>
  • Football coaches stress hydration as South Georgia heats up

    Football coaches stress hydration as South Georgia heats up

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:12:23 GMT
    Football is an intense, and grueling collision sport, and when South Georgia heats up, practice is even more stressful on the body."We don't wanna lose a kid because of the fact they are not hydrating themselves," says Monroe Head Coach Charles Truitt.That's why coaches stress the importance of staying hydrated on and off the field."We preach when they get home at night after football practice, to hydrate themselves and then we they get up in the morning hydrate themselves," says Truitt.After...More >>
    Football is an intense, and grueling collision sport, and when South Georgia heats up, practice is even more stressful on the body."We don't wanna lose a kid because of the fact they are not hydrating themselves," says Monroe Head Coach Charles Truitt.That's why coaches stress the importance of staying hydrated on and off the field."We preach when they get home at night after football practice, to hydrate themselves and then we they get up in the morning hydrate themselves," says Truitt.After...More >>
  • Man stabbed after telling attacker about Jesus

    Man stabbed after telling attacker about Jesus

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:05 PM EDT2014-07-29 00:05:30 GMT
    A Thomasville man is recovering after being stabbed. The man says he was trying to steer his attacker in the right direction, when the man snapped.More >>
    A Thomasville man is recovering after being stabbed. The man says he was trying to steer his attacker in the right direction, when the man snapped.More >>
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

In Valdosta and Lowndes County there are few things bigger than football, and kids get started early here.

"Huge, huge. The culture of football down here is just an awesome atmosphere," said George Page, Executive Director of the Valdosta Lowndes Parks and Recreation Association.

According to a report published by the Associated Press today, 4.3% of players ages five to 14 were diagnosed with concussions.

That's based on data collected from six youth leagues around the country in 2012 and 2013.

The numbers increase the older the player gets, something orthopedic surgeon Eric Stiefel said makes sense.

"I think it intuitively makes sense that as the level of competition increases, the athletes become bigger, faster, stronger," said Stiefel. "This is gonna translate to harder hits and possibly increased risk of concussions."

Stiefel also points out that while young players are less likely to get a concussion, the effects of concussions are more dangerous for them.

"Athletes younger than 18 may take longer to recover from the symptoms of a concussion, which can put them at risk for something called second impact syndrome," Stiefel said.

And that's why the Valdosta Lowndes Parks and Recreations Association is using the latest technology in the helmets for young players.

"The good thing about this helmet is that the chin strap actually molds with the helmet. When you tighten your chinstrap, it also tightens your helmet to make it a better fit for each individual kid that's wearing it," explained George Page.

Which will hopefully help make South Georgia's signature sport safer for its youngest players.

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.