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Youth Sports Related Concussions
By Heidi Turner
Youth involved in sports are at a risk of youth sports concussions especially in high impact sports, or in situations where they are not given adequate protective gear or are not given enough time to recover from a head injury or brain injury before continuing play. Virtually all youth sports are linked to a concussion risk, according to reports. Educational institutions and sports organizations are responsible for ensuring young athletes are as safe as possible while involved in sport. Failure to do so can result in lawsuits being filed.
Although much attention is given to adult concussions, youth involved in sport are at a risk of serious concussion as well. Youth are more susceptible to concussions than adults, and according to research, children who suffer one concussion are at an increased risk of suffering further concussions. Unfortunately, children and youth often to do not appreciate the seriousness of a concussion—or the long-term consequences associated with further injury—and may hide the severity of their head injury. For these reasons, it is vital that children and youth are properly protected from concussion and that the adults coaching them can identify the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
Concussions occur when the athlete's head suffers either a direct or indirect injury. When the brain collides with the skull, the athlete may experience issues with neurologic functions. Athletes do not need to lose consciousness to have suffered a concussion, nor do they need to have experienced a direct blow to the head.
Youth Sports Concussion Syndrome
One of the main issues facing young athletes is the risk of second-impact syndrome—when an athlete suffers a second brain injury before fully recovering from the first. This can cause brain swelling that is linked to lifelong health problems and even death. Unfortunately, not all coaches are aware of the symptoms of concussion, nor of the risks associated with allowing a child or youth to resume activities too soon after suffering a brain injury.
Symptoms of a concussion include difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating, headache, blurry vision, vomiting, dizziness, light or noise sensitivity, changes in mood, nervousness, and changes in sleep habits.
Lawsuits have been filed against various educational institutions and sports organizations alleging they did not do enough to protect young athletes from serious injuries associated with concussions in sport.
Youth Sports Concussion Lawsuits
Earlier this year, Pop Warner settled a lawsuit filed by the mother of a young man who committed suicide. An autopsy of the young athlete—Joseph Chernach—found he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition that results from repeated head trauma. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is linked to depression and other mental health issues. The settlement saw Pop Warner and its insurer agree to pay less than $2 million to the athlete's mom.
Meanwhile, another lawsuit has been filed against Pop Warner by Kimberly Archie and Jo Cornell, both of whom had sons who died young and were found after death to have suffered chronic traumatic encephalopathy as a result of repeated head trauma. The lawsuit alleges Pop Warner failed to ensure its coaches and other staff were properly trained in identifying and preventing brain injuries.
Youth Sports Concussions Legal HelpIf you or a loved one has suffered similar damages or injuries, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a personal injury lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
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