LOS ANGELES -- A national panel of experts is calling for action after taking a closer look at concussions in young athletes.
Fifteen-year-old Trey Fearn struggled for months after suffering two concussions playing football and basketball. "I'd get nauseous. I'd get headaches, I'd think and I'd try to sit down and focus but I just couldn't do it."
A new report from the Institute of Medicine says there's a lot we don't know about the impact concussions have on children. The group is recommending a national system to better track the problem.
Dr. Neha Raukar, a committee member at Brown University, says, "There is a culture of resistance when it comes to reporting concussions. Because you can't see a concussion, people hide their symptoms because they don't want to let their teammates or their parents or their coaches down. Sometimes it's because athletes don't recognize symptoms as a concussion."
Football, ice hockey, lacrosse, wrestling and soccer are associated with the highest rate of concussions in boys. For girls, it's soccer, lacrosse, and basketball. The panel finds little evidence helmets prevent concussions.
Dr. Christopher Giza, with UCLA Pediatric Neurology & Concussions, says, "A helmet can block some of the force but can't stop your head from moving."
Trey's doctor recommended he give up football and allow his brain time to heal.
Doctors recommend children still wear helmets because they protect against other injuries including skull fractures.