As summer is coming to an end, school sports teams are gearing up for try outs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2001-2009, the number of annual traumatic brain related emergency room visits increased significantly, from 153,375 to 248,418, with the highest rates among males aged between 10 and 19. That is a 62% increase. *Source: www.cdc.gov
For parents with kids who play contact sports such as football or soccer, below are some tips and issues to be aware of to ensure your children’s safety and prevent traumatic brain injuries.
1. Make sure coaches are trained to recognize signs of concussion.
The coaches need to know the signs of concussions, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, etc. If coaches are not properly trained to recognize these symptoms, players can be sent back into a game with a concussion. A subsequent hit to the head can then cause a permanent brain injury.
2. Make sure proper protective equipment, such as helmets, are worn.
Many times, athletes wear hand-me down helmets from their brothers, friends, etc. The helmets should be fitted on the children’s heads properly. A helmet that fits another player, brother or friend may not fit your child’s head.
3. Tell your kids to avoid hits in the head.
A lot of times parents and kids may have a false sense of security because they are wearing helmets. A helmet reduces risk of a serious brain injury and/or skull fracture; however, it does not prevent a concussion. Therefore, even with a helmet, kids should avoid getting hit in the head.
4. Tell your kids to follow their coaches’ rules for safety and rules of the sport.
Kids who are new to a sport should know the safety rules of the sport. For example, in football, if a player does not know how to tackle properly, he may sustain serious injuries.
Despite all the precautions, injuries do still happen during contact sports. Sometimes, traumatic brain injuries may be caused by the negligence of another, i.e., a coach or school. Other times, there may be a defect in the helmet which did not properly protect the player. In that case, a products liability case may be filed against the maker of the helmet.
If your child sustained a traumatic brain injury because of another person’s negligence, he/she may be entitled to recover compensation. If you would like to discuss your child’s sports accident, feel free to contact Daniel J. O’Brien, Esq. for a free, initial consultation. Dan is a life-long athlete and has helped many injured victims in sports related accidents in PA and NJ. 877.944.8396
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