With local schools and colleges back in session, parents are likely to be busy attending team practices and sporting events. Football is particularly popular in Aiken and throughout the South, where high school and college teams are highly competitive. While these events can provide fun and excitement for players and their families, it is important to take the necessary precautions to prevent potentially serious personal injuries. The following outlines some of the potential risks, as well as suggestions for parents and coaching staff on keeping players safe.
Football Concussion Injuries
According to experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine, close to four million children and young adults suffer potentially serious injuries each year as the result of participating in recreational or school related sports activities. The greatest number of these injuries occur among athletes who play as a part of football teams, where there is the greatest likelihood for falls and collisions with other players.
Head injuries are one of the most serious concerns, particularly sports related concussions. These can occur due to any type of bump, blow, or jolt to the head and can end up causing lasting impairments. Symptoms of concussions are not always immediately apparent, and parents should be alert to the following:
Loss of consciousness on impact
Dizziness and fainting
Inability to remember how the injury occurred
Problems speaking or understanding what is being said
Severe, recurring headaches
Sleep disturbances and being excessively tired
Depression and fits of rage
The Brain Injury Research Institute warns that repeated blows to the head can result in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a serious and potentially fatal condition that mirrors Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease. The NFL has come under fire for ignoring or downplaying the risks for CTE. High school or college football players can also be at risk, particularly if the proper safety procedures are not followed.
Keeping Student Athletes Safe
Football players of all ages should wear a properly fitted and approved safety helmet at all times during practice or play. Unfortunately, while helmets go a long way in providing protection, concussions can still occur. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that parents, coaches, recreational staff, and school administrators should be aware of the signs of concussion, and the procedures to follow if a head injury is suspected:
Any time a player suffers a bump or blow to the head, they should be removed from play immediately
Medical attention should be sought as soon as possible.
If a concussion is suspected, the player should not be allowed to return to play until cleared to do so by their doctor
If a player has suffered prior concussions, parents may want to limit participation to prevent CTE from occurring.
How Our South Carolina Injury Attorneys Can Help
Coaches, staff, and school administrators are responsible for ensuring your child’s safety during play. When serious injuries occur that could have been prevented, the school or recreational facility can be held liable for the damages your child suffers. You may be able to claim compensation for a football injury. Call or contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC online and request a free consultation to discuss your case with our Aiken, SC personal injury attorneys.