Even with added protective padding or rules against hard hits and specific moves, kids who play sports like baseball, basketball, football, and lacrosse are at increased risk for head and brain injuries, and could suffer long-term effects from these conditions.
Parents of kids who play these sports can get involved to make sure that their coaches are doing everything possible to cut down on risks and injury, but protection and rules only go so far. A lot of safety issues arise from poor judgement calls following a hard hit or injury, or pressure from coaches to resume playing before an athlete is ready. What can parents and their children do if a coach, league, or association takes undue risks that result in serious injuries?
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Reports from the Brain Injury Association of America indicate that traumatic brain injuries are a leading cause of death and disability in children and teenagers. Traumatic brain injuries can result in the loss of physical abilities, mental disabilities and impairment, and even death.
Although brain injuries in adults and children are similar, those sustained by younger kids have a few notable differences that increase the risk for severe injury or death. Because children’s’ brains are still developing, there is more of a chance that a traumatic brain injury could lead to mental and physical impairments, even years down the line. It can be difficult to predict how a blow to the head will manifest later in life, especially as a child develops.
While not all traumatic brain injuries are caused while playing sports, sports-related injuries make up a significant portion of the overall injuries sustained. Cycling, football, baseball, basketball, and water sports were among the top activities reported to cause head injuries, but the list includes sports like cheerleading and soccer, which parents may not initially consider as risky for their children.
A hard blow or hit to the head can cause a concussion in a young athlete, and although many people will recover fully from a concussion within a few weeks (typically two or three), there are several additional factors that put a child at risk for traumatic brain injuries following a concussion.
Second-impact syndrome is one serious risk. If a child suffers an initial concussion, and then a subsequent blow to the head that causes another concussion, rapid swelling of the brain can occur, causing dizziness, headaches, vertigo, and death. It’s critical that coaches and sports administrators give children the appropriate amount of time to recover from concussions before putting them back on the field or court, to prevent second-impact syndrome from happening.
Rudinski, Orso & Lynch | Personal Injury Attorneys
Negligence and misconduct can lead to head injuries for children playing sports, especially if the people in charge are not mindful of the risks for head injury and trauma. If your child is seriously injured as a result of negligence or sports-related injuries, you may need to take legal action. Contact the attorneys at Rudinski, Orso & Lynch online or by phone (570-321-8090) for more information.