When it comes to K-12 education, school sports sometimes play as big a role as calculators or textbooks. For generations, autumn football games and evening basketball events have been a highlight of the high school experience.
Unfortunately, in embracing that time-honored tradition, too many school districts have overlooked the inherent dangers in some athletic activities. Most kids come off the court or the field unscathed, of course, but school sports injuries are nevertheless on the rise.
Especially concerning is the high risk of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and stroke in young athletes. We’ll look at that relationship — and several other common school sports injuries — below.
School Sports Injuries Can Cause Traumatic Brain Injury
When children and teenagers head onto the field for a grueling game of sports, they do so with bodies that are still in development. Tragically, highly physical contact sports like football, wrestling, soccer, basketball, and others are known for the blunt force pressure they sometimes apply to the head, neck, and other sensitive areas.
Direct head injury often leads to concussion, which had a reputation for being a “minor injury” but as we have come to learn is anything but. As any doctor can tell you, the ramifications of a concussion can be incredibly serious. Many student athletes suffer from recurring vertigo, headaches, dizziness, epilepsy, and concentration problems.
Additionally, blows to the head may cause permanent damage to the brain itself, the effects of which may manifest in virtually any part of the body. Risks include bleeding in the brain, nervous system damage, aneurysm, and stroke.
The head isn’t the only concern, though. Neck injuries can lead to arterial damage, including arterial dissection, which may cause additional brain damage, paralysis, blood clots, and — most ominously — strokes.
Common School Sports Injuries
In addition to traumatic brain injury, arterial dissection, and stroke, other common school sports injuries include:
- Heat stroke
- Muscle strains or sprains
- Contusions (bruising)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Growth plate injuries
- Eye damage, sometimes including retinal detachment
- Broken bones and fractures
- Facial disfigurement
- Nerve damage, which may be permanent
Attorneys for School Sport Injuries
The medical community has made a compelling case in the last few years about the dangers of school sports programs. Unfortunately, too many school systems, administrators, and even parents continue to ignore the warnings.
While exercise and athleticism are critical for healthy growth — and school sports programs certainly play an important role in society — it’s essential that schools utilize great caution and make every reasonable effort to protect the safety of their students.
If you or your child has suffered injury during a school athletic event, Kaire & Heffernan, LLC can help. We’ll work with your family to find the best solution for your recovery, fighting hard to ensure that you’re compensated according to your rights under the law. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.