Granger Rocket Football lowering risk of concussions


We're three weeks out from the start of football season.

That has many parents of young kids worried.

The Granger Rocket football league is doing something about it.

The league is encouraging kids to take cognitive tests before football season. The online test allows doctor's to track brain damage that kids receive from concussions.

Blake is the first football player from the league to participate in the testing.

"It's a test to measure processing of information doing a series of tasks with playing cards," said Dr. Wendell Garcia at Doctor's Express.

The computer program involves a number of tests involving a deck of cards. The tasks test on the accuracy and speed in which a child processes the information.

"Testing is beneficial because it sets a baseline as to the individual athlete's cognitive function," said Dr. Garcia.

Granger Rocket Football is one youth organization who encourages their players to take the baseline test.

"There's confidence in knowing we have a baseline where he's at today," said Blake's mom Stacy. "If he does get hit or hurt, we can come back and check on that."

If Blake does get a concussion, he can take the test again and doctors will compare the two results.

"You can have very subtle injury," said Dr. Garcia. "The advantage of this test is that you're able to pick up subtle changes in the brain function."

It helps doctors tell a child how long they can't play if they've suffered a concussion.

"It's well worth the $15 to know your child has a baseline," said Stacy. "You have something to refer back to. It's very inexpensive for the peace of mind."

When football season rolls around, nearly 270 kids will play just in the Rocket Football League.

"For youth sports this is a really high contact sport," said Rocket Football President Scott Gilroy.

The league says parents are sometimes the problem in forcing their kids to play. They say the test is an accurate way to prove the kid is medically fit to play.

"We may have an over zealous parent who says, 'oh he's ok he's ok, put him back in the game,' this gives us a vote of confidence that he is okay," said Gilroy.

The league is not mandating that all kids receive the cognitive test because it costs money. But they do say they are aiming to include the $15 test fee into league fees in the coming years.

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