Rick Rattay Jr. loves to hit, but as a Sophomore in college, he suffered a double hit concussion that ended his playing career.
"Football is a tough sport concussions are just part of the game," Rick Rattay Jr. said.
Even so, Rick says parents who are concerned about having their kids play, especially at the youth level, shouldn't be.
"My whole family is very involved in athletics, my dad especially in youth football," he said.
"I think if you look at the statistical data, there is a lot of data the shows there are a lot more injuries in other sports," Rick Rattay Sr. shared with 13abc. Rick Sr. has had experience in youth sports as a coach for many years.
Dr. John Klimkiewicz is Georgetown University's head team Orthopedic Surgeon and treated Rick through his concussion experience. He couldn't agree more.
He says while there has been a lot of recent discussion about the lingering effects of concussions, he remains a believer in athletics.
"Athletics is great for our youth, in Rick's case, I think you need to know when someone is at risk, and what it smart and what isn't," Dr. Klimkiewicz said.
And there are some risks.
Since 1995, the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research says 55 college & high school football players have died on the field from brain sustained injuries.
Rick's mother Eileen shared, "I think there is always concern when they go out on the field. You have to get the best prepared mentally and physically that you can."
Being a youth football coach Rick Rattay sees very few concussions at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
"There are leagues out there, that most of them are touch flag in the 3rd and 4th grade. Most contact league starts in the 5th and 6th grade."
As for Rick Rattay Jr. he says he feels the game is not to blame.
"I still hold pretty much the same view. I think the positives of youth athletics far outweigh the negative aspects."
So if you've decided to let your kids to play football this fall, and you see your child take a heavy hit, here are some things you should watch for.
Doctors say there are a number of symptoms that could be an indication that something is wrong.
those symptoms include:
- poor balance
- poor concentration
- memory problems
Experts also say even something as trouble falling asleep could be a sign that they need medical attention.