Many young athletes could suffer a traumatic brain injury

Professional athletes aren't the only ones who suffer from severe injury. Readers in Columbus may be interested to know that children who play sports also experience these types of injuries. In fact, studies have revealed that a number of student athletes have suffered a brain injury. The findings are chilling.

The studies began when experts became concerned about the effect of brain injuries on young athletes. In 2010, officials with the Government Accountability Office testified on Capitol Hill regarding this issue. According to one study, between 2001 and 2009 more than 2.6 million children were treated for injuries they sustained while playing sports, of which 170,000 were for traumatic brain injury.

That number is scary. But what makes it even scarier is that medical professionals believe that estimate is just a portion of the actual injuries. One reason for this is because there is a lack of awareness surrounding brain injuries. For example, many young athletes believe that if they do not lose consciousness then the head injury is not serious. Therefore, a large portion of these injuries never get reported.

Sports can open up many doors to college scholarships and other opportunities down the road. This is another reason why athletes are reluctant to report injuries. However, continued participation without treatment can make the injury much worse.

After the occurrence of a catastrophic injury such as a TBI, sometimes the injured party is able to recover compensation from the negligent party that contributed to the occurrence of the accident and resulting injury. This may not be the type of lawsuit readers have heard much about. However, with such a high number of children who have sustained sports-related injuries, it may only be a matter of time before these types of lawsuits begin developing.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Youth Sports Injuries: What a Headache!," Ranit Mishori, M.D., MHS, Aug. 29, 2012

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