In Weston, Miami, and other communities in Southern Florida, youth sports are an important and healthy part of childhood. Sports build discipline, encourage physical fitness, and provide many other physical, emotional, and even academic benefits.
Many sports also carry the risk of head injuries and concussions. While in the past many believed that concussions were less serious than traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), today there is growing evidence that all injuries to the head need to be treated seriously. It is now understood that repeated concussions, especially early in life, can have life-long effects.
What Is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of head injury where the head or body is impacted in such a way that the brain inside the skull sustains some damage. Concussions range from mild to severe, but they always need to be investigated by a qualified medical professional to rule out serious injury.
In youth sports, football, soccer, cheerleading, hockey, and other sports carry an especially high risk of concussion, but virtually any athletic activity can pose a risk, because almost any practice or game can result in a collision between players, an errant ball, a fall, or any other incident that can lead to a concussion. Worse, sports can cause repeat concussions, which can lead to serious complications and injuries, especially if an athlete is re-injured before the first concussion has fully healed.
How Can We Prevent Concussions?
There are several things parents can do to reduce the risk of concussions for their child athletes:
- Vet sports programs carefully: Check to make sure any sports programs your children are taking part in are reputable and managed by experienced coaches who understand what to do in case of a concussion. Any programs youth athletes take part in should have clear safety and health policies to keep kids safe.
- Keep your child safe with gear: If your child’s sport requires safety equipment such as helmets, they should have quality gear that is worn correctly every practice and game.
- Get medical attention promptly: If your child has suffered a concussion or blow to the head, take them to your pediatrician or a doctor soon after the injury, even if a coach has cleared them for play. A second opinion is important and can ensure any serious injury hasn’t been missed.
- Stay alert for symptoms: If you notice your child has personality changes, balance issues, sensory sensitivity, trouble sleeping, memory loss, headaches, or any other new symptoms after an injury, get them medical help right away.
- Do not be in a hurry to get back in the game: Wait until your child is cleared by their doctor or by a specialist before they start practicing or playing again.
What Should I Do If My Child Suffers a Concussion in Sport?
If your child has suffered an injury, your first priority is to get them quality medical help and to keep getting follow-up treatment and following all doctor’s instructions so your child can heal fully. Your child may be eager to get back to their sport, but it’s important to ensure they’re only doing so when they are healed.
A second thing you might want to do is to contact a personal injury attorney if your child has been seriously injured. Coaches, teachers, schools, and program organizers of sport programs have an obligation to care for athletes. If they are negligent and your child is injured as a result, you may have a claim. Seeking compensation for your child’s injuries may give you the resources you need to pay for medical treatment and care for your child.
If you’d like to speak to an experienced head injury claims attorney in South Florida, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free, no obligation consultation.