YOUNGSTERS AND HEAD INJURIES

 

Much has been made of professional football players and head injuries.  The NFL paid millions to retired players who sustained concussions and brain injuries.  Many articles deal with college football players’ head injuries.  However, in The Journal News on May 3, 2016 by Lindsey Tanner, deals with youngsters who suffer head injuries.  Younger football players return to the field less than a day after suffering a concussion.  10% of young players who had a concussion resumed football within a day. A sports injury researcher Zachary Kerr states more sideline medical supervision and better recognition of concussion syndromes are needed.  Mr. Kerr directs an injury surveillance programs at Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention, an independent group.  He states younger kids struggle to describe their symptoms and concussion may not show up right away.  The study also found differences in concussion symptoms depending on the players’ age.
The study involved injuries reported by athletic trainers during practices and games from 2012 through 2014.  The data included more than 200 programs at youth high school and college levels.  Youth teams involved players aged 5 – 14 in Pop Warner and USA football programs.  A total of 1429 concussions were reported during the three seasons.   The rate of 2 per 1000 games among youth players and 2 per 1000 among high school players.

An average of about six symptoms occurred with concussions in college and high school players.  Youth players had slightly fewer symptoms and were less likely to lose consciousness although, blackout were rare.  Dizziness, headaches and loss of balance were among the most common symptoms amount youths.  Time away from the sport varied by age.  High school players were sidelined for at least one month, about 20% versus 16% of youth players and 70% of college players.  The point of the article is that concussions among youths are not recognized.  The youths are not sidelined for enough time.

The same author, Lindsey Tanner, on the same date, dealt with more head injuries in an article entitled “monkey bars alert: More head injuries”.  This study finds playground concussions on the rise.  The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study examined national 2001 – 2013 data on playground injuries to children aged 14 and younger who received emergency room treatment.  On average of 215,000 children are treated yearly and about 21,000 annually had traumatic brain injuries including concussions.  The article points out the climbing rate of traumatic brain injuries.  In 2005, 23 out of 100,0000 kinds had traumatic brain injuries and that number jumped to 48 out of 100,000 in 2013 and is continuing to climb.  These injuries are from playgrounds and mostly from swings and money bars.  95% of those hurt were sent home after an emergency room visit.  Concussion symptoms can last days or weeks and most children completely recover but repeated blows to the head have been linked to brain damage.  Many of these concussions result from falls and researchers recommend using soft ground surfaces such as wood chips or sand.

Concussions among youth is a growing concern as more concussions are being recognized and not treated properly.

If you or a loved one have had their youths sustain a concussion and not treated properly (from the playground or organized sport), contact the Law Office of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC at (914) 288-0800 or on the web at WhitePlains-PersonalInjury-Lawyers.com or Robustelli Personal Injury Law.NY.com