Can Concussions Among Young Athletes Be Prevented?

Posted on April 27, 2015 by Shapiro Law Group

Record numbers of high school athletes are receiving concussions, a type of traumatic brain injury that can have long-lasting effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the long-term effects of concussions can include problems with reasoning and thinking, taste, smell, language and emotion. In addition to long-term effects, repeatedly sustaining concussions can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease that can lead to dementia.

It should be clear that concussions have debilitating effects, both long-term and short-term. So how can we protect our young athletes from sustaining concussions in the first place?

The CDC has a program called “Heads Up!” that provides concussion information for parents, coaches and young athletes. Coaches can learn how to recognize the symptoms of a concussion, and know what to do if a player is showing symptoms.

For example, if a player is showing signs of difficulty concentrating, nausea and balancing, coaches can perform a sideline test to pull a player from the game. This is important, as concussions can lead to something called “second-impact syndrome”, which is potentially fatal.

Are High Schools Responsible For Helping Prevent Concussions?

High school athletic departments have an obligation to care for the safety of student athletes. This means adopting concussion prevention programs and pulling players off the field if they are showing signs of a brain injury.

Last week, we wrote about a lawsuit covering the case of a 15-year-old soccer player who suffered brain damage after collapsing at a game. The incident might have been avoided if the high school had defibrillators, which it was required to have.

Our readers can learn more about traumatic brain injuries by exploring our website. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for further updates on Shapiro Law Group.

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