Football is a wonderful way for boys to stay in shape and to learn valuable life lessons. However, parents need to be ever vigilant to ensure that their children are wearing the proper safety gear and observing rules which make their sport safer. Football is inherently more dangerous than other high school sports. Whether or not to allow your child to play football is a choice every parent should make in the best interest of their son. In this article, I will discuss high school football in America and examine the safety aspects that affect the players.
Football is clearly the most dangerous of the “big three” sports which include, football, baseball and basketball. The injuries that can be expected in football can be severe and life altering. Knee injuries, arm injuries and broken bones are a common occurrence on the football field. The main way to avoid these injuries is by playing fundamental football and to teach children at a young age to play within the rules. While these injuries may be more common in football, they are injuries that can occur in any sport. Head injuries, though they can occur in any sport, are exponentially more likely to occur on the football field. Brain injuries also pose the greatest risk to the long term health of your child.
Traumatic Brain Injuries in Football
Where football separates itself, in terms of injuries, is the prevalence of traumatic brain injuries. Every year numerous players die because of head injuries suffered on the field. Perhaps more disturbing is that many traumatic brain injuries and concussions go undiagnosed and the players are allowed to continue playing with a head injury. In my opinion, it is better to err on the side of caution. If you believe that your son may have suffered a head injury, on a particular play, it is best to insist that he is removed from the game until appropriate testing can be performed.
New Study Shows Brain Changes Without a Concussion
Perhaps even more disturbing is a recent study which indicates that high school football players can undergo significant neurological changes after a single season of football. Scientists recently tracked 24 players, ages 16-18, during and after their high school football season. The players were tracked throughout the season with the Head Impact Telemetry System (HITs) which is a helmet mounted system that measures the frequency and severity of impacts. Players who were considered heavy hitters, based on the HITs data demonstrated significant neurological changes even though they did not suffer a diagnosed concussion.
The study has not yet determined what the long term cognitive and emotional effects of playing high school football might be, but the study will continue to try and make these determinations. The study does seem to suggest that high schools need to do a better job of monitoring their players for possible head injuries and following strict protocols when a possible head injury occurs.
Educate Your Child
The dangers of football can never be eliminated, but they can be reduced. Head injuries can be reduced by teach children proper tackling techniques. Players should never lead with the head as it subjects both the head and neck to unnecessary risk. Teach your child about proper hydration. It is extremely important for young players to stay hydrated during games and practices. Everyone has heard, or been subjected to, the football coach that withheld water during hot practices. This practice is criminal. Another issue is that young men rarely want to admit that they have suffered a head injury. Players, coaches and medical staff must be taught to err on the side of caution when there is a possible head injury.
Jones Law Group
Have you or a loved one been injured playing high school sports? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you.
If your child has suffered injuries playing high school sports that you feel were avoidable, should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Jones Law Group
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St. Pete, FL 33707