Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo[/caption] Among the most common head injuries are concussions, which are often sustained in sports activities, as well as car accidents and falls. Although they may seem like a relatively minor and common injury, in reality, concussions are a traumatic brain injury that can cause serious medical problems if not properly treated. Concussions have been linked with a number of lifelong medical problems, including depression, fatigue, sleep problems, and increased risk of stroke. The suicides of former football players Junior Seau, Dave Deurson and Ray Easterling have all been linked to long-term health problems from concussions. Moreover, a person who suffers one concussion is up to four times more likely to sustain a second concussion, which can place a child at an increased risk for learning difficulties and other neuropsychological difficulties. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries for those persons under age 19 rose 60 percent from 2001 to 2009. Even though the number of deaths from brain trauma among those ages 15 to 19 decreased by half from 1999 to 2010, emergency room visits for sports-related injuries for teenagers increased significantly, according to the CDC. Some of the sports activities most likely to cause brain injuries are:
- Cycling. Statistics show that more than 85,000 cyclists are treated in emergency rooms across the country for brain injuries each year. Helmets can go a long way in protecting against head injuries.
- Football. Approximately 46,000 football-related head injuries are treated each year.Additionally, the NCAA and NFL have come under fire for their lack of effort in preventing head injuries. According to an article in the New York Times, three recent studies found that injured players may return to play prematurely, in part, due to communication breakdowns between players and coaches. The studies also showed that efforts by the NCAA and other groups to raise awareness of concussions has been inconsistent and that freshmen college players are more likely to believe that their coaches will think that they “did the right thing” by reporting a concussion.
- Baseball and softball. Baseball and softball cause nearly as many emergency-room visits for head injuries, but (to date) baseball and softball do not appear to show the long-term neurological injuries that are associated with football-related injuries.
What to Do If Your Child Suffers a Sports-Related Head Injury
If you or your child has suffered a concussion or other head injury the U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends that you:
- Stop the activity immediately.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Discontinue the activity until a doctor has cleared you or your child for play. Recovering from a concussion can be a slow process, and if a person returns to vigorous activities too soon, he or she is at risk for secondary impact syndrome, which can cause serious lasting neurological problems.
At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, our Chicago head injury lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims of head injuries and their families. If a concussion or other head injury was caused by a defective product or negligence, we will advocate on our clients behalf for full and fair financial recovery. If you or your child has suffered a concussion or other traumatic brain injury, do not hesitate to contact the Chicago head injury lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible personal injury or product liability claim. Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.