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Sports concussions are a much larger problem than many of us thought 20 years ago. Concussions affect young people as much as they do adults if not more so on a long-term basis. Parents are becoming increasingly concerned about the dangers their children face when they play certain collision sports such as football or ice hockey. The fact is that there are problems with other sports as well.
People are working tirelessly to continue to raise awareness with regards to traumatic brain injuries in children. This includes the traumatic brain injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys. We’d like to highlight the work of a group known as Head Case. Head case is an organization of concerned parents hoping to make sports safer for children. The group publishes several different data points, including the rate of sports concussions for different activities. Below is an overview of some data.
As stated above, most people think of certain sports when the topic of sports concussions comes up in conversation. Head Case published the rate of sports concussions for several activities. Per 100,000 athletic exposures, the concussion rates are as follows:
In addition to the rate of sports concussions for different sports, the following statistics dig deeper into the problem:
Those interested in reviewing a full breakdown of the statistics can find them here.
If an individual sustains a second concussion before the symptoms from a previous concussion have fully resolved, the individual is at an increased risk for severe disability and even death. Anders et al., The Essential Brain Injury Guide (5th ed. 2016) p. 489. This is due to a phenomenon called Second Impact Syndrome (SIS).
It has been well documented that a history of concussions can have a negative cumulative impact as well. Anders et al., The Essential Brain Injury Guide (5th ed. 2016) p. 80. Specifically, repetitive concussions can cause future concussions to take longer to heal and cause more lasting effects. Id.
Likewise, it is now generally accepted that repetitive head trauma can cause a rare, progressive degenerative condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Id at 82. This process can begin in childhood, with the cumulative effect causing serious degenerative health conditions, decline in memory capabilities, decreased executive function, mood and behavior disturbance and wide range of other mental health issues.
Clearly, this is troubling information for anyone who has a child playing sports or who has a child who may become interested in competing in sports or other physical activities. The traumatic brain injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys have already shared information regarding the potential damage that can be done to a young person who suffers a concussion. We are still learning more about what it really means for a child whose brain is injured on the football field, on the soccer pitch or on the softball diamond. For now, all we can do is hope that medical science continues to make progress on its research.
In the meantime, parents need to think about taking some steps to minimize the risk that their children will suffer one or more sports concussions. Examples of these steps include:
Finally, if you are not satisfied with the concussion protocol that exists with your child’s team, group or league, you should take steps to organize other parents and concerned parties to act as a collective force. Concerned parents acting as groups have affected tangible change around the country with regards to this problem. Some efforts have even led to the enactment of laws that govern sports concussions.
If your child has suffered head trauma and you believe that it was the result of negligence on the part of someone who should have been more protective, you should also seek legal advice. The traumatic brain injury attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys have been helping families whose loved ones have faced difficult challenges because of this type of conduct for several years.
Contact the firm as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation.
John Gomez founded the firm alone in 2005. Today, John acts as President and Lead Trial Attorney. He has been voted by his peers as a top ten San Diego litigator in three separate fields: Personal Injury, Insurance and Corporate Litigation. Since 2000, he has recovered over $800 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients with more than 160 separate recoveries of one million dollars or more. A prolific trial lawyer, John has tried to jury verdict more than 60 separate cases.
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