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Football hurts the brains of kids as young as 8 — even if they've never had concussion symptoms

A promising athlete, 13-year-old Zackery Lystadt’s head hit the ground as he rolled through a routine tackle in 2006. He didn't lose consciousness. But he did lie on the ground for a moment after the play, clutching the sides of his helmet. His coach took him out for two plays.

Then Lystadt played the rest of the game. At the closing whistle he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, where he required emergency neurosurgery to relieve pressure inside his skull.

Today Lystadt is learning to walk again. The state of Washington created a new law in his name, sometimes known as the "shake it off" law, which requires players who show signs of concussion to be examined and cleared by a medical practitioner prior to re-entering a game.


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