High School Sports and Brain Injuries

High School sports and brain injuries can be a very big problem for students, parents and school officials alike. Preventing injuries to students who participate in high school sports is a major concern for the community. There is an inherent risk of injury in such competitive sport programs such as football, hockey, soccer and wrestling. According to a study done by the Institute of Medicine, the risk of concussion type brain injuries may be much higher amongst high school children, than even at the college level. High school coaches and trainers are acutely aware of this problem, and it is their responsibility to work with the families of the students and the school officials, to make sure that injuries are kept to a minimum.

A committee formed by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council reviewed the issues concerning sports related concussion brain injuries amongst minors starting with elementary school through college. The committee has recommended that further funding and research on this issue needs to be done in order to pinpoint areas where a reduction of these types of injuries for children involved in sports activities in our schools may be achieved.

High school football programs might be one of the biggest contributors to concussion type head injuries in students according to this study. This study entitled “Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture,” provides an in-depth review of brain trauma as it relates to high school sports activities. For more information on this study, please see the Institute of Medicine and Frontline.

Keeping Student Injuries at a Minimum

It has been determined that sports programs in high schools that are fully equipped to handle any type of injuries their students may suffer, have proven what may need to be done to reduce these sports related injuries, as well as their severity. Those school districts in more affluent areas are able to obtain the necessary funding to insure that they have well trained athletic directors and trainers who are in a better position to meet this need. It is up to the school districts to make sure that they hire trainers who are knowledgeable enough about the care and prevention of sports related injuries. However, for those underfunded school districts, there remains the problem of where to get the money.

Underfunded Athletic Programs in School Districts

Less affluent neighborhoods with school districts that are unable to afford to put in place, the necessary safeguards to help prevent sports related injuries to their students are at a loss. Many of these underfunded high school athletic programs in these poorer neighborhoods do not have on campus, any system in place to address student injuries when and if they occur. These schools do not have the funds to maintain a team physician or athletic trainer on staff who are trained to deal with any student injuries, during the games. In most instances, these school districts will be precluded from having any athletic programs at their schools at all.

Parents who have children that are involved in competitive sports at their schools should maintain awareness and active involvement in this area to make sure that these programs are safe for their children.

Brain injury leading to either disability or death as a result of brain damage is a very serious matter. To consult with an experienced brain injury attorney on this issue, or if you or a loved one is suffering from a brain injury or a brain trauma due to the actions of another, contact Levin & Perconti at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation.

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