Extracurricular sports provide an excellent way for children to learn teamwork, discipline and good sportsmanship. They keep children busy both throughout the summer and through the school year, and often become a lifelong hobby and in some cases, a career. While there are many benefits to participating in school sponsored and recreational sports leagues, there are also potential dangers of which parents should be aware. Sports concussions cause serious damages to players both young and old each year and can result in severe and potentially life impacting damage. While recent efforts to raise public awareness have brought attention to these types of injuries, here is what you need to know in order to keep your young athletes safe.

Concussions and Brain Injury

The December 2015 movie ‘Concussion’ highlights the efforts of one doctor to uncover the truth behind these devastating injuries in professional athletes. Based on true events, the doctor discovers how repeated concussions in the course of playing football caused traumatic brain injury in a number of players. The movie raises awareness of a serious issue not only within the National Football League, but within youth sports programs as well.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) a concussion occurs as the result of a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. A concussion can temporarily impair the brain’s functions and people who have suffered a concussion may have difficulties with speech, balance, memory, and coordination. Depending on the severity of the concussion and any prior concussions the athlete has suffered, these difficulties may last anywhere from a week or so to months and can even have permanent, lasting impacts. Symptoms of concussion include the following:

  • Headaches;
  • Excessive tiredness or drowsiness;
  • Irritability and being prone to anger;
  • Confusion;
  • Memory loss;
  • Difficulty speaking or forming ideas;
  • Problems with balance;
  • Nausea and vomiting; and
  • Loss of consciousness.

Any time a player suffers a head injury, medical care should be sought immediately. In severe case, head injuries and concussions can be life threatening if left untreated.

Raising Awareness of Youth Sports Concussions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a concussion can result in traumatic brain injuries, or TBI. The CDC states that TBI has become a serious public health concern, and that over two million of these injuries are suffered each year. To address the issue the CDC has developed a program entitled Heads Up, which seeks to educate the public of the dangers of these types of injuries. The program provides resources for schools, coaches, parents, and athletes themselves on how to prevents sports concussions, as well as encouraging important and potentially lifesaving concussion laws which provide guidelines on when players who have suffered a concussion can return to play. To protect your young athletes and other children in your community from suffering the serious ramifications of these injuries, the CDC recommends parents schools and recreation programs to develop policies specifically designed to address the issue.

Contact Our Office for Help

If your child suffers a sports-related injury, contact our experienced Florida personal injury attorneys. At Hogan Frick, our attorneys can help you hold responsible parties accountable for your child’s injuries, and get the compensation needed to provide the medical care and rehabilitation they need to recover. We have offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland; contact Hogan Frick today for a free consultation.