NEW YORK STATE -- A staple of the fall, football season is back.
On the heels of the NFL announcing its $765 million concussion settlement with former players, concern is growing for the younger athletes, many who have season openers this weekend.
The attorney general issued a consumer alert this week in light of youth football starting, regarding so called anti-concussive or concussion proof helmets, saying they can be misleading and dangerous, giving players and parents a false sense of security.
"There is no such thing as a concussion-proof helmet," said neurologist Michael Lenihan.
Lenihan is a neurologist based out of Glens Falls. A panel physician for the New York State Athletic Commission, he provides consultations for high schools around the North Country.
"I don't think we know if kids are more prone to concussions, but we do know that they take longer to recover from them," Lenihan said.
Lenihan says concussions are never good, but it's when you don't give your brain enough time to heal that the real problems occur. It's called second impact syndrome.
"An individual will have a concussion and they haven't recovered completely, they may still have symptoms a week later, they'll go back into the game, they have a second concussion and then the brain can swell and that could potentially be fatal," Lenihan said.
To prevent athletes from taking the field before they're fully healed, many schools use an impact program, giving the athlete a base-line test before the season starts and re-evaluating if and when they receive an injury.
"We use it district-wide from girls lacrosse, softball, baseball, every single one of our sports teams," said Robert Jones, Queensbury School District Athletic Trainer. "If there is contact, we take precautions and we use the program respectively."
Jones was part of a panel that worked with legislators to pass the Concussion Management Awareness Act in 2012. As an athletic trainer for high school athletes, he says education on concussion-related injuries is a passion of his he will continue to pass down on young athletes.
Jones said, "I played high school and college football and I know I've had mishandled head injuries. So is it a passion of mine? Yes. Because if I can prevent this from happening to one of my kids, it would make a big difference."