States across the country are considering making stricter laws to keep young athletes from playing sports following a concussion. After Washington state set the bar, and every other state is following with strict laws to prevent traumatic brain injuries in youth sports.
In Missouri, state lawmakers want to pass a law mandating that young athletes — who suffer concussions — won’t be allowed to practice or play in games without written medical clearance. This would be the newest state contributing to the growing awareness of concussions in athletes and protecting the youth.
This and any other law aimed at protecting young athletes can only be seen as a good idea by our brain injury lawyers. The phrase “toughen up” — which may have been used by some coaches and parents in the past — doesn’t apply to head injuries. Young athletes don’t have fully developed brains yet, and it takes longer for them to recover from brain injuries than adult athletes. Teenagers who return to the field with post-concussion syndrome put their life on the line because a second concussion is always easier to get than the first. The brain is already sensitive, and even a minor hit to the brain can trigger another concussion.
The state of Missouri wants to pass a law mostly aimed at high school players that would require players to be kept out of practices and games until they are cleared by a licensed health care worker trained in evaluating and managing concussions.
In the United States, about 3.8 million sports-related concussions happen every year according to the Brain Injury Association of America. The Missouri State High School Activities Association that governs high school sports says players shouldn’t return the same day after a concussion. The same association suggests athletes with three concussions in the same season should be benched for the rest of the season and kept out until a complete neurological exam is completed. These and other guidelines would start in the 2010-2011 school year.
Concussions are a very tricky brain injury to diagnose and treat effectively. Our brain injury attorneys know if a player returns from a concussion too soon, then further brain injuries are possible, and a second concussion can be a serious injury. If your son or daughter suffered a concussion because of playing sports, wouldn’t you want every precaution taken before they’re allowed to play again?
Please feel free to call us now at 1-858-551-2090 or you can click here for a free consultation with an experienced brain injury attorney. We have a large bilingual staff that can assist you in either English or Spanish. No fee if no recovery.