Head injury common among children in sports


By the age of 13, Riley Shore had put together a combination of agility, athleticism and balance to navigate her way around a 4-inch wide beam like it was a wide-open dance floor.

But in one moment, it disappeared.

For weeks after a fall during gymnastics practice, she showed up at a doctor’s office with one seemingly impossible goal: putting one foot in front of the other to simply walk in a straight line.

“I was in kindergarten again,” she said.

Like 250,000 of her peers in a 2009 Centers for Disease Control report, Shore had suffered a concussion through a sport or recreational activity. From 2001-09, the CDC found that emergency room visits for such injuries rose 57 percent among children under the age of 19.

An accomplished gymnast, reduced to trying to regain the simplest of motor skills. That was life for Riley two years ago after her third and most devastating concussion. For the now 16-year-old junior at Reynolds High School, doctors are still investigating a possible link to the daily migraines she began suffering this spring.

Her first concussion came at either 12 or 13, and there have been two or three more. She and her mother, Gina Shore, settled on the number three. They all seem to run together, they said.

The first was a blur, as they always seem to be, when she missed on a back handspring.