With over a decade of experience handling personal injury claims, I have represented dozens of individual suffering from head injuries, including post concussion syndrome and more severe traumatic brain injuries. See Brain and Spine Injury Lawyer Articles. A head injury can be a slight as headaches and dizziness to severe as unconsciousness, visible injury to the brain, coma, or death. Brain injuries are need to be addressed medically and legally even when relatively minor.
One of the reactions to the recent awareness of how sever even perceived minor head injuries can become, the debate has begun about young children being allowed to play rough contact sports like football. Two of the world's leading experts on concussion related injuries disagree on the subject.
Any time a person sustains a head injury, there is risk of concussion. While a concussion may not sound too scary, the problem occurs in repeated incidents of concussions which can have serious long-term consequences. One especially troubling worry is that if an athlete, or a child, receives a second concussion before the first has fully healed, it can cause permanent injury or even death.
According to the experts, children who play football throughout high school may receive as many as 2,500 sub-concussive hits throughout their careers. A recent study found that the number of catastrophic brain injuries which caused permanent disabilities among high school football players increased to 13 during 2011. This alarming trend has researchers working on ways to make youth sports safer even if they don't agree on the best way to guarantee that safety.
The issue up for debate is whether the safety skills obtained by experiencing contact in the form of rough sports play early on in life is counterbalanced by the risk of injury caused by multiple concussions.
Boston University's Dr. Robert Cantu thinks that sports like ice hockey, lacrosse and tackle football should be off limits to kids under the age of 14 until rules are changed to limit risks of concussions and other injuries stemming from multiple blows to the head that so often come with the territory.
On the other side of the debate is Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz from the University of North Carolina. He believes young athletes need to learn how to deal with physical contact early on when they play against opponents who are the same age and size. Dr. Guskiewicz believes that such early exposure to proper safety techniques will ultimately lead to safer playing later in life.
Guskiewicz explains that "the youth league players generally are close to the same size and are about the same age. If you wait until the kids are freshmen in high school, you might have a 130-pound player competing with a 300-pound player. The forces can be tremendous. I believe it is safer for the players to learn at younger ages."
Cantu, who has treated a lot of youngsters with concussions, believes that it is absolutely critical to avoid repeated head injuries. "That's where Kevin and I differ," Cantu said. "I'm treating these children and I've seen them miss school for a week, a month, a semester, even a year because of post-concussion symptoms."
St. Louis personal injury lawyer Ben Sansone is an experienced Missouri injury trial lawyer practicing in all areas of personal injury including brain injury and medical malpractice. For information on how to protect your legal rights if you or a loved one has been seriously injured, call one of our Missouri personal injury attorneys today at 1-314-863-0500.
Source: "Concussion experts differ on safety in youth sports," by Tim Stevens, published at CharlotteObserver.com.
See Our Related Blog Posts:
St Louis Medical Malpractice Settlement: $900,000.00 for Spinal Cord Injury after Negligent Pain Injection
St Louis Auto Accident with Head Injury: Settlement obtained by Sansone Law