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Head Injuries and Youth Sports

Head injuries are very common in any sport, and this includes youth sports as well. It has been estimated that there are close to 4 million concussions in the United States each year due to recreational and competitive sports and even more concussions go unreported.

One of the leading causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI) visits in the emergency room are because of sports-related concussions among youths and teens. This means that children and teens make up approximately 70% of the people being seen for sports-related concussions.

Which Sports Cause the Most Head Injuries?

The highest cases of concussion and other head injuries among children and adults occurred in football, hockey, rugby, soccer, and basketball. Males were the most affected in football, while females experienced many head injuries during other sports like horseback riding and cycling.

The Risks

Concussions and other head injuries have been linked to memory loss, depression, personality changes, and other serious illnesses.

If you have a child that participates in one of the above-named sports or another contact sport where injury may likely occur, then it is important to educate yourself so you will be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion. It is also important to learn how to manage a concussion if your child experiences one.

What Is a Concussion?

Concussions are a type of brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or a blow to another part of the body that results in the head jolting. A few signs of a concussion for an observer to spot include a stunned or even dazed appearance, confusion about what is going on, clumsy movements, forgetfulness, and behavioral and personality changes.

An observer may also notice that the child may not be able to answer questions quickly, they are unsure of the game they are playing, and they may lose consciousness even if it is only for a brief moment.

The child themselves may be able to report dizziness, nausea or vomiting, balance and vision problems, sensitivity to light and noise, confusion, a hazy feeling, or a general feeling of discomfort and uneasiness.

What to Do When You Suspect a Concussion

If you suspect that your child has a concussion, you should immediately remove them from the game and not return to their sport until they have been cleared by a doctor or other medical professional. It may take a bit for the child to recover and returning too soon may result in more injury.

The doctor you see initially will be able to determine if it is a concussion and they can then advise you on the best route of treatment for your child.

You also need to inform their coach about the concussion because each concussion can become worse, and the problems may increase over time. Having an up to date concussion history is very important for the coaches to have.

Treatment and Recovery

After physical and neurological and cognitive exams have been done, the doctor will then continue testing for memory, balance, and attention problems. The typical treatment for a standard concussion is the removal from the sport so the child can rest. There should be no physical activity, and they should also refrain from any stressful cognitive activities until the child's symptoms begin to improve.

Reducing the Risk

To help reduce the risk of future concussions and head injuries, it is important to follow the rules of the game, make sure to wear the right protective equipment, and learn proper safety techniques for their sport while also practicing strength and conditioning routines.

Sometimes, depending on the situation, you may even have a personal injury case on your hands due to the head injury. To be sure, contact your experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the details of your case.