Sports activities are incredibly beneficial for youth. For example, young children and adolescents can stay healthy, improve their fitness levels, learn good sportsmanship, and make friends. While there is no doubt many benefits to sports and recreational activities, the reality is that they are also a common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in adolescents.
About 10% of all TBIs are the result of sports and recreational activities. However, among youth and adolescents in America, that percentage jumps up to 21%. April is considered National Youth Sports Safety Month, so we would like to take this time to help educate about the potential dangers of recurrent sports-related brain injuries.
Common Causes of Sports-Related TBI
In general, sports-related TBIs occur when there is a violent jolt or blow to the head, such as during a fall or collision with a hard object or another person. The U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC) tracks sports-related head injuries by looking at hospital emergency room admissions.
The agency found that the following activities represent the highest number of estimated head injuries treated in emergency rooms nationwide; these are ranked from the greatest number of incidences to the least:
- Powered recreational vehicles (ATVs, dune buggies, go-karts, mini bikes, etc.)
- Exercise equipment
- Horseback riding
- Playground equipment
Long-Term Impacts of Recurrent Head Injuries
Concussions are a type of mild brain injury and are the most common type of TBI sustained during sports activities. Most concussions heal on their own over the course of a few weeks. However, it is estimated that around 10-15% of patients will develop post-concussion syndrome (PCS), which is defined as the persistence of symptoms for more than a month following the incident.
Some of the most common symptoms of PCS may include:
- Pressure in the head
- Neck pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Fatigue and low energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Trouble falling asleep
- Anxiety and depression
- Feeling more sad, irritable, or nervous
Those who experience multiple concussions are more likely to develop PCS as well as have longer recovery times. Each time there is head trauma, the cells that have to repair themselves take longer to do so and ultimately may be unable to entirely recover after multiple instances. This can lead to an increased risk of permanent brain damage and loss of important skills.
If your child sustains a head injury during a sports or recreational activity, it’s imperative that they cease all physically-demanding tasks and activities and get seen by a doctor. Your child should not continue playing sports until your doctor says it is safe to do so.
We Are Here for Your Family
At The Law Firm of Davidoff & Associates, our Queens brain injury attorneys represent those who have been injured across all the boroughs of New York City and the surrounding areas. If your child sustained a brain injury in any type of accident, our legal team can review your case for free and advise you of your family’s legal rights moving forward.
Contact our firm at (888) 211-1116 to get started on your case today.