Youth athletes at risk for traumatic brain injuries

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

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California high schools frequently promote sports as opportunities to earn scholarships for college, but tend to gloss over the real dangers of these activities. Youth sports can be dangerous, especially contact sports. In fact, student athletes are at a particularly high risk for traumatic brain injuries.

Between 2010 and 2016, there were approximately 283,000 emergency room visits for minors who had suffered traumatic brain injuries — TBIs — related to sports. Contact sports were responsible for 45% of those visits. A total of 25% were because of tackle football. Even though TBIs related to football went down 39% from 2013 to 2018, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control still says tackle football causes more TBIs than any other sport. The decline is from fewer athletes participating in the sport, not from improved safety.

TBIs frequently cause long term complications. Injured youth athletes can suffer for weeks, months or even longer. The symptoms can be particularly debilitating for those who have suffered at least one prior TBI. However, a researcher from the Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences says that there is still not enough information about the long-term effects on youth, and believes that more research is necessary.

Although many football programs now implement better contact and tackling restrictions, youth athletes are still vulnerable. This is because some California schools still emphasize winning over safety. When this kind of negligence causes students to suffer traumatic brain injuries, it may be necessary to seek essential compensation for things like medical bills, pain and suffering and more. Many parents choose to do so by filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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