Concussion study reveals most Valley parents will let kids play football

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Barrow Neurological Institute released a study that claimed about 33 percent of Valley parents won't allow their kids play football due to concussion risks. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Barrow Neurological Institute released a study that claimed about 33 percent of Valley parents won't allow their kids play football due to concussion risks. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
There has been a 15 percent decline in kids playing football in Arizona, according to the study. (Source: Barrow Neurological Institute) There has been a 15 percent decline in kids playing football in Arizona, according to the study. (Source: Barrow Neurological Institute)
Alexa Caiazzo is a former competitive cheerleader and is still recovering from three concussions. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Alexa Caiazzo is a former competitive cheerleader and is still recovering from three concussions. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The study also found 85 percent of the surveyed parents would allow their children to play other contact sports. (Source: Barrow Neurological Institute) The study also found 85 percent of the surveyed parents would allow their children to play other contact sports. (Source: Barrow Neurological Institute)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Barrow Neurological Institute released the results of a study on Thursday which revealed one-third of Valley parents won't allow their kids play football due to concussion risks.

Experts said the purpose of the study was to measure if the increased awareness about concussion and brain injuries in sports affected the parent's decision to let their kids participate in sports.

According to Dr. Javier Cardenas, there's been a 15 percent decline in football participation across the state from the 2016-2017 season compared to the 2015-2016 season.

"What we attribute that change to is that parents, youth, coaches and our community have a more sophisticated knowledge and approach to athletics and concussion," said Dr. Cardenas. "There's no question that football is indeed the spotlight sport when it comes to concussion."

[RELATED: CTE found in 99% of studied brains from deceased NFL players]

However, student-athletes don't only get concussions playing football.

The study also found 85 percent of the surveyed parents would allow their children to play other contact sports.

[RELATED: Valley high schools hope to make football safer (Aug. 30, 2016)]

Sixteen-year-old Alexa Caiazzo, a former competitive cheerleader, is still recovering from three concussions. She said one of her teammates kicked her in the head while at practice in October of last year.

"After two weeks, I got kicked again, and that was kind of like the turning point," said Caiazzo. "That's when I noticed in school and stuff I wasn't performing how I usually do."

She added, "I was spelling, like simple words wrong or mixing up my letters so it gets kind of hard to focus sometimes still. Physically, I feel a lot better."

[RELATED: Nearly 1 in 3 Arizona student-athletes suffered concussion by senior year, survey finds (Aug. 26, 2016)]

Caiazzo no longer competes. She instead coaches youth cheerleading and is making it her mission to make sure kids, parents and coaches are educated about the dangers of concussions and importance of good technique to prevent injuries.

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