Now that the school year is in full swing, it is time to enjoy school sports! Even though sporting events may be limited this year, students statewide are still practicing, playing, and competing in sports. As fun and exciting as it can be, playing sports can also cause serious harm, including brain injuries.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the term used to describe head trauma caused by an outside force, such as a blow to the head or a sudden jolt, like whiplash during a car accident. A concussion is a common example of a TBI—and one that occurs often when playing school sports. TBIs can range from mild and easy to recover from to severe and debilitating. Fortunately, school sports injuries tend to involve the former.
According to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the following sports and recreational activities lead to the highest number of head injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2018:
Most school sports injuries occur during competitions, but children can be hurt during practice or while playing a casual game with friends as well.
Symptoms of concussions can manifest in many ways—from mild pain and nausea to dramatic changes in behavior. No two people exhibit the same exact symptoms and in the same ways, but there are warning signs you can look for in children to determine if they may be suffering from head trauma.
Common physical symptoms of concussions include:
Cognitive, social, and emotional symptoms may feature one or more of the following:
Many of these symptoms apply to other traumatic brain injuries as well. If your child has suffered a head injury or head trauma, take them to the doctor right away. Brain injuries can be hard to detect, especially at first, which can result in the damage getting worse due to delayed treatment. In such cases, it is far better to be safe than sorry.
The key to lowering the risk of traumatic brain injuries in school sports is to create a safe sports culture. Parents, teachers, and coaches must ensure the focus is more on fun and enjoyment than pressure to win and be the best. Concussions and other TBIs should be explained and openly discussed with student athletes before their participation in a sport begins.
Other ways to prevent brain injury in school sports include:
Preventing children from suffering concussions and other TBIs while playing school sports takes more than just protective gear and safety measures, however. Children need to hear positive feedback from coaches and parents concerning the seriousness of concussions and the importance of reporting symptoms. This will help them understand the need to play safely and encourage them to speak up if they do experience symptoms of a TBI.
Has your child suffered a head injury such as a concussion while playing sports at school? If their accident was caused by negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim for compensation. Talk to our Panama City brain injury lawyer today to learn more.