Health Warnings

Local reaction to new study on football and CTE

Greatest risk in the NFL and collegiate levels

Local reaction to new study on CTE...

NIPOMO, Calif. - The latest study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association examines the brains of more than 200 deceased former football players at all levels of the sport.

The study found that nearly all of the brains of former NFL players had the degenerative brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE.

The rate falls slightly for former collegiate football players and then drops sharply for former high school football players.

There were no signs of CTE in the two cases of former youth football players who were part of the study.

"With our league we have to take a "Heads Up Football" certification every year", says Oscar Magallon who coaches in the Youth Football League in Nipomo and also coaches freshmen football at the local high school.

Kids between the ages of 7 and 14 learn the fundamentals of the sport as well as the proper technique when it comes to hitting and tackling, safely.

"Every year you have to re-certify all the new stuff coming out as far as concussions, dehydration and whatever it is for the kids' safety.

Its technique and fundamentals that appears to be getting through to the players in the league.

"Keep your head up and never look down when you're about to tackle", says 13 year old Youth Football League player Robert Cuevas.

Parents of kids in the Nipomo Youth Football League know the potential risk involved even at such a low level.

"Of course I am aware and I come to this program because they are the best and they take safety very seriously", says local parent Rebecca Siemens.

"Its really important that the coaches are aware and they don't have a win at all cost attitude, and get back out there and play, you're fine", adds local parent Erica Fultz, "they need to be cognizant of the possible signs of a child getting a concussion."

Even those involved in the recent study acknowledge its still too early to difinitively declare CTE a problem in football and they stress the importance of more group studies at all levels of the sport.

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