Athletes Protecting Against Brain Injuries

Athletes Protecting Against Brain Injuries

If you have a child, you likely also have an athlete. And if there is an athlete in your midst, you may notice their hard work, dedication, and love for their sport. Athletics have an amazing capacity to inspire, promote health, and encourage wholesome fun. But they are also prone to severe accidents. In fact, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, sports and recreational activities account for 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries in adolescents. And nearly one in five children have suffered one concussion with one in twenty sustaining two or more. At this high frequency, we ought to pay close attention to the cause and prevention of such serious injuries.

Preventing sports-related head injuries according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

There are several steps you can take, as a parent and coach of an adolescent athlete, to promote their safety. In consideration of the serious, life-long effects brain injuries have on a child, there is no victory worth risking their safety.

    1. Cultivate a positive and safe sports culture. As a parent or coach, it is your responsibility not to sacrifice fun and safety in the name of competition. While determined hard work and a drive to succeed are good, nothing should stand in the way of your team’s safety. Make sure your athletes always:
      • Have fun
      • Feel encouraged
      • Have safe practices being modeled for them
      • Support one another in competition and in the instance of accidents
      • Can report all injuries, including concussion symptoms to you or their coach.
    2. Establish and enforce rules that practice good sportsmanship and promote safety. After all, a game is no longer fun without some sort of structure, especially in the instance that someone gets injured. Rules should always include:
      • No striking someone in the head
      • Feel encouraged
      • No using one’s head to make contact with another athlete
      • No explicitly trying to hurt another athlete
    3. Inform your athletes on how and when to report a concussionand express the importance of doing so. Your athletes’ comfortability in reporting injuries is a critical element to their safety. Often, athletes feel as if they can’t talk about an injury at the risk of looking weak. They might wonder if it is severe enough or if their complaint will be affirmed. Consider these worries as you discuss the necessity of reporting concussions and other brain injuries:
      • Losing a position on a team
      • Not achieving their future athletic ambitions
      • Appearing weak
    4. Create a concussion action plan. What are you going to do when an athlete suspects or experiences concussion symptoms? Be sure that in a frantic moment either during practice or competition, you are prepared and know exactly what to do. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests you:
      • Have the athlete cease activity.
      • Only allow the athlete to return to play with a clear from a medical professional.
      • Be sure that all information about the injury is shared with this health care provider so that they can make an informed and accurate assessment.
      • Have safe practices being modeled for them
      • Be sure that all information about the injury is shared with this health care provider so that they can make an informed and accurate assessment.
      • Ask the child’s health care provider for instructions on how and when they should return to various activities, including the sport.

As the leading cause of death in sports, brain injuries ought to be taken seriously. And the first steps in avoiding their lifelong complications involve prevention. Be sure that your athletes, whether playing Pee-Wee soccer or skiing for a gold medal, implement adequate safety measures.

And in the case that you or a loved one is inflicted with a sports-related brain injury, please do not hesitate to call on us at The Law Offices of William D. Shapiro. We are here for your legal counsel and expert assistance in this difficult time. As your local, San Bernardino and surrounding area attorney, you can depend on our trustworthy and high-quality services. Reach out today!

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