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When a young athlete has difficulty standing up, walking, or talking after a “hit” with another athlete, it’s easy to suspect a concussion. Often, however, such immediate symptoms don’t occur. A recent study in the journal Pediatrics suggested that more than half a million concussions in youth go unreported—and all too often, young athletes are asked to provide a self-evaluation mere seconds after a traumatic brain injury.

Yet in most cases, the outward signs of concussion are subtle and easy to miss. When one occurs a few feet from the ball, that concussion can easily go unnoticed. The NFL and now the larger collegiate football conferences include spotters and a physician whose primary role is to look out for the player’s safety.

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