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Obama: I may have had concussions

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President Obama said Thursday that he may have suffered concussions while playing youth football.

Speaking at a White House summit on youth sports and concussions, Mr. Obama said he remembers suffering from a "ringing sensation" in his head on multiple occasions.

Thursday's event was part of a broader effort by the administration to draw attention to concussions in sports at all levels. The president previously has said that, because of the danger of concussions, he would be hesitant to allow his son — if he had one — to play football.

"When I was young and played football briefly, there were a couple of times where I'm sure that that ringing sensation in my head and the need to sit down for a while might have been a mild concussion, and at the time you didn't think anything of it," Mr. Obama said. "The awareness is improved today, but not by much. So the total number of young people who are impacted by this early on is probably bigger than we know."

The president, an avid sports fan who golfs regularly and occasionally plays basketball, stressed that he believes it's beneficial for children to play sports, but they should do so with the proper protections.

"We want our kids participating in sports. I'd be much more troubled if young people were shying away from sports," he said. "As parents, though, we want to keep them safe, and that means we have to have better information."

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