In many parts of the country and many different households, Fall is a favorite time of the year specifically because it is football season. Football is a decidedly American sport, and for decades many young athletes have spent their weekdays practicing with the team, playing community games on Friday nights, and enjoy weekend pick-up games. Our Illinois sports injury lawyers know that while the game is cherished by many, it comes with some dangers that must be accounted for at all times.
Over the past few years more and more families have become aware of the risk of head injuries in contact sports-particularly football. With football, contact is essentially half of the battle as athletes intentionally ram against each other as they struggles to move down both sides of the field. The physicality of the game means that many athletes face a myriad of injuries as a result, with concussions leading the list. When playing the game, athletes of all ages, from Pee-Wee youngsters up to the professionals, run the risk of experiencing severe head trauma which can causes a concussion.
It is vital that no family, coach, or school administrator underestimate the health risks caused by concussions. Experts continue to warn the public that even hits that may seem like a mere bump or an injury with very mild symptoms can have serious, lifelong consequences. To highlight the point, some advocates are spreading the story of a young college football victim. A family was distraught when they discovered that the Division I college athlete committed suicide last year. The young man had no history of depression. Doctors who examined the 21-year old following his death were shocked to learn that he was in the early stages of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a degenerative disease that affects those who have experienced repeated concussions and head trauma.
While doctors are still split on whether the suicide was specifically caused by the CTE, many suspect that it was involved. Many doctors have already though the problem could have mental, social, and emotional effects after studies involved with older, professional NFL players. One doctor explained that “having developed the disease so early raised the possibility that it played a role in his death, and provided arresting new evidence that the brain damage found in NFL veterans can afflict younger players.”
Each new piece of information that comes out about the risks of head trauma posed by football counsels toward extreme care being taken by all those who play a role in the game’s safety. The Illinois brain injury lawyers at our firm urge all parents to be on the lookout for any sign that their young athlete is experiencing the effects of a concussion. These concussions can be tricky to spot, because it may take days after the actual trauma before the athlete actually experiences symptoms. While some recover quickly from a concussion, others have lingering symptoms for weeks. It must be remember that for the vast majority of athletes, a playing career will only last a few years, while brain injuries will last a lifetime.
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