Sports and Recreation: Traumatic Brain Injuries on the Rise

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published a study which analyzed sports and recreation related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The study found a 5 percent increase in emergency department visits from 2001 to 2010 related to TBIs. This rise has led the CDC to refer to sports and recreation TBIs as “a major public health problem in the United States.”

Researchers found that sports and recreation related TBIs increased by 62 percent from 2001 to 2009.

According to the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), a traumatic brain injury is an “alteration in brain function” which was “caused by an external force.” According to the CDC, a TBI can affect a wide range of functioning and the symptoms can range from “mild” to “severe.” Some of these symptoms can impact a person for the rest of their lives. Click here for more on TBIs.

One of the more startling findings from the recent CDC report was the shocking rise in injuries among teenagers and children. The study found that persons aged 19 years or younger accounted for 65 percent of the sports and recreation related traumatic brain injuries. The leading causes of these injuries among this group was bicycling, football and playground activities.

In California, all bicycle riders under the age of 18 are required by law to wear helmets when they ride. This law also applies to roller skates, non-motorized scooters and skateboards. The helmet must meet certain protocols including fit and must be recognized by either the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

USA Football recently launched a Heads up Tackling initiative aimed at educating parents, coaches and young athletes on safer ways to tackle in order to try and prevent head injuries. Another recent study performed at Boston University School of Medicine, found that former NFL players who participated in youth football when they were younger than 12 “were more likely to have memory and thinking problems as adults” than those who did not play youth football.

As these injuries disproportionately affect teenagers and children, it is imperative that they be properly treated for these injuries. The CDC research study found that 15 to 25 percent of those injuries which were diagnosed as being “mild” TBIs, resulted in long-term physical, cognitive and emotional consequences.

Please take TBIs seriously.

If you or your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury or believes that they have suffered a traumatic brain injury, then please contact the San Diego brain injury lawyers at Martinez & Schill LLP for a free consultation. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Martinez & Schill offer free consultations and are not paid unless you recover. Contact our San Diego office: (619) 512-5995 or Riverside office: (951) 200-4630.

 

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