Recreational Sports and Concussions
Recreational sports are a great way for children to learn both discipline and teamwork. Both community programs and schools offer a variety of options in terms of sports programs for young people, and many parents encourage their children to be involved in little league or ‘midget’ sports leagues as early as preschool. While these programs offer valuable lessons in terms of physical fitness, sportsmanship and getting along with others, the potential dangers involved in playing recreational sports are often overlooked. Recreational sports injuries can pose a serious threat to a young person’s health and well being, and traumatic brain injuries, in particular, can result in serious and potentially life-threatening harm.
Since the release of the movie “Concussion” about brain injuries in the National Football League, there has been increased attention focused on the impacts these injuries have in professional sports players. At the same time, it is important to be aware of the impacts these kinds of injuries can have on recreational athletes as well.
Recreational Sports and Traumatic Brain Injury
A November 2015 Post and Courier article on sports-related concussions points out that while there is increasing focus on the risks and prevention of concussions among sports figures, athletes in the United States continue to suffer over three million head injuries each year. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), any type of bump, blow or jolt to the head may result in a concussion, a brain injury that can affect physical, mental, and cognitive functions. Traumatic brain injuries are a subset of concussion, and one of the most common and severe types of head injuries among athletes. Symptoms of traumatic brain injury include the following:
- Painful and recurring headaches
- Unexplained mood changes
- Blurred vision and sensitivity to light
- Problems with balance and coordination
- Difficulty in focusing and understanding information
- Slurred speech, or difficulty expressing words and thoughts
All athletes should seek medical care immediately after any type of blow or bump to the head. Left untended, a brain injury can result in lingering and long-term disability, and even death.
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South Carolina Student Athlete Concussion Law
With increased awareness of sports-related head injuries, many states have enacted laws designed to protect athletes and prevent further harm from occurring. In the Palmetto State, the South Carolina Student Athlete Concussion Law was enacted in 2013 and outlines both requirements and responsibilities in regards to high school student athletes in the state. The law dictates that schools and sports programs have guidelines and procedures in place for dealing with injured players, and specifies that any player suspected of suffering a head injury must be immediately removed from play and is unable to return until being cleared by a doctor. In addition to the state law, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control also maintains a list of national policies and guidelines for parents to familiarize themselves with, along with information on both the prevention and treatment of head injuries among players.
Let Us Assist You Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a sports-related injury, contact the Anastopoulo Law Firm right away. Our experienced South Carolina personal injury attorneys provide effective, efficient legal representation to people who have been injured in these types of accidents, and can assist in you in getting the compensation you deserve. Give us a call today!