TODAY   |  October 31, 2013

Report: More concussions among student athletes

A new report is showing that concussions among athletes – particularly student athletes – is on the rise, and that the safety equipment currently used may not be doing enough to prevent them. NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> with an eye opening report for parents of children with concussions increased if years. current safety devices may not be working as well as we thought. here's chief editor director dr. nancy sneiderman.

>> i was hit right on this field.

>> reporter: jake has been playing football since 3rd grade . now at 17, he's already had two serious concussions.

>> i was hit head-to-head. when i hit the ground, i heard my head was ringing, it hurt so bad.

>> reporter: did you realize in that moment that you were not the same kid you were five minutes before?

>> yeah. i just didn't have everything there. i really couldn't think. i had memory loss. i didn't really know what i was and what i was doing.

>> reporter: jake is one of 40,000 high school football players who sustain concussions every year. a new report from the institute of medicine looked at athletes between 5 and 21 years of age and found for males, football, ice hockey , lacrosse, wrestling and soccer result in the highest number of concussions. for women, it's soccer, lacrosse and basketball.

>> each successive concussion, we worry about the risk for additional brain injury and perhaps long-standing injury and later effect itself.

>> reporter: for jake 's mom, michelle, it isn't enough to pull him off the field.

>> i wish he was 10, i wish i could pull him off. it is his last 84 an it is important and honestly, i think i would let him play.

>> reporter: michelle says she is grateful jake told her when he was feeling concussion symptoms. the report highlights a culture of resistance, saying too often, parents, children and coaches underreport signs of concussion, for "today," dr. nancy sneiderman, nbc news, east rutherford , new jersey.