Firm-Wide blog

Youth Sports Pose Higher Concussion Risk

By Burg Simpson
October 19, 2017
4 min read

Every year, the start of the NFL season reboots the conversation about the sport’s health risks, especially when it comes to concussions. In 2009, the NFL addressed increased concerns over player safety by instituting the “NFL Game Day Concussion Protocol,” which employs multiple independent consultants and requires the immediate removal of players suspected of suffering a concussion. Later, the league added medical spotters whose sole job is to look for signs of concussions in players.

Concussions are the most common form of traumatic brain injuries and this concern has naturally extended to youth sports when the injury can cause lifelong damage. It is because of these sobering statistics that Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed SB 11-040 into law back in 2011, which provides for concussion guidelines for the state’s school districts and their athletic departments.

If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury from playing sports, a motor vehicle accident, or a fall, you could be eligible for compensation. Contact a Colorado personal injury lawyer to discuss your situation and to get help if your child has been injured.

Sports’ Concussion Risks

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, children 18 and under suffer nearly 2 million concussions every year. The concussion rate among those under 22 has reached a fever pitch, jumping 500 percent between 2010 and 2014. High school football accounts for 47 percent of sports concussions, a third of which happen during practice. The sports that pose the greatest concussion risks include:

  • Football
  • Ice hockey
  • Girls’ soccer
  • Boys’ lacrosse
  • Girls’ lacrosse
  • Boys’ soccer
  • Wrestling
  • Girls’ basketball
  • Softball
  • Boys’ basketball
  • Girls’ field hockey
  • Cheerleading
  • Volleyball
  • Baseball
  • Gymnastics

Concussion risks for youth are not limited to just sports. Actually, cycling accidents cause twice as many concussions as football. Other risky activities include water sports, winter sports, and skateboarding.

It is just as important to point out that while concussions may be the most common form of traumatic brain injuries, they’re not the only cause. Other types of TBIs include contusions, coup-contrecoup contusions, and diffuse axonal, to name just a few.

Symptoms of a Concussion

It is important to note that it is possible to suffer a concussion without losing consciousness. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of a possible concussions include:

  • Headache or a feeling of “pressure” in the head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, groggy or dazed
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Sleeping problems
  • Mood changes
  • Changes in behavior

If you detect any of these signs in a loved one, do not take any chances. Get medical attention as soon as possible.

Second Impact Syndrome

In the past, sports head injuries have not been taken as seriously as they should have been. Someone who has suffered a concussion is at a substantially higher risk for suffering a second one before they have recovered from the first one. This condition is called Second Impact Syndrome. Second Impact Syndrome can be much more hazardous than the original brain injury and can easily result in long-term damage or death. That is why it has become more important than ever to properly diagnose a possible concussion the first time around.

As adults, and the coaches who supervise these young athletes, it is their responsibility to be on the lookout for possible brain injuries and take immediate action, even if it includes removing them from practice or a game. It is simply wrong to put that responsibility on the student-athletes themselves.

If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury from a car accident or because of some recreational activity, make sure you get proper medical treatment then reach out to an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney. Call Burg Simpson at 303-792-5595 or fill out a FREE CASE EVALUATION FORM HERE.

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