The dangers of sports related head injuries have filled many headlines recently. The combination of high-profile brain injury lawsuits, head injuries among professional and amateur athletes, and new research into these topics have all coalesced to raise the profile of these dangers over the last year or two. Every day brings new, relevant information for those involved in these matters.
That is why is was encouraging to see a new online effort that attempts to better catalog all relevant information for sports brain injury victims. Known as the “Sports Concussion Library,” the website seeks to offer a wide-range of information on sports head injuries. According to information provided at the site’s launch, the library is intended to be a collection of information for all actors, from researchers and athletes to parents, coaches, first responders, and educational institutions. As our Chicago brain injury lawyers have frequently explained when discussing these situations, it is incumbent upon all of these involved actors to take the necessary steps to educate themselves on the risks and work to prevent the harm.
The Library is a non-profit, free publically accessible information storehouse including journal articles, book chapters, documentaries, legislative news, and other information related to head injuries resulting from all athletic events. It also has links to relevant websites with basic concussion information and non-commercial educational sites.
For example, researchers into the area will likely find useful links to recent published research from the Sports Neurotrauma and Concussion Initiative Research Committee. Other university-affiliated research projects are also included. It is hoped that the research section of the site will become a “point of contact” for all those involved in these effects and better understand the causes and effects of these injuries.
The non-researcher will likely benefit from other aspects of the site. Parents are encouraged to watch relevant documentaries with their athlete children in order to learn more about the personal stories of those who have suffered as a result of these injuries. It is always difficult for parents to get their eager young athlete to step back and think about the consequences of not acting safely, but personal stories from other young people is always one of the more effective strategies. Parents, coaches, and personal trainers are encouraged to explore the free SCAT2 system and read general information about sports safety and common prevention and basic treatment steps.
The institutions which sponsor these athletic events (usually schools and universities) will also find important information in the library. These institutions must take an active role in preventing these injuries and providing proper treatment for athlete victims to ensure long-term harm is minimized. Along those lines, these institutions can find information on the latest relevant legislation and documentaries targeting the educational based component of the initiative. For example, on the website there is a list of sports-related concussion guidelines for teachers, “return to play” guidelines and an “ABC” primer of the problem. A fact sheet for school nurses is also provided with a concussions signs and symptoms checklist so that these important actors can step in and identify head injuries when they arise.
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