According to the Youth Sports Safety Alliance website, high school athletes suffer 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year. They report that there were also 120 sports-related deaths of young athletes in 2008-2009; 49 in 2010; and 39 in 2011.
Safety advocates convened in Washington, D.C. in February of this year, to discuss major concerns surrounded youth sports regarding football, soccer, swimming, cheerleading and more. In addition to discussing concerns of concussions and brain injuries, they highlighted even more hotly debased issues of cardiac arrests, heat strokes and other orthopedic injuries.
Educating Players, Parents & Coaches
Many believe the best way to solves these problems is to educated the players, the parents and the coaches. It’s important to learn prevention techniques, learn the signs and symptoms associated with various sports safety issues and learn what to do if an incident does happen.
USA Football recently launched its program called Heads Up Football – aimed at teaching young players how to keep their heads out of harm’s way and reduce the risk of concussions. This year alone they expect to roll the program out to more than 2,800 youth leagues with about 600,000 players.
Ten years ago, the N.C.A.A. imposed strict guidelines on the first five days of preseason football practices, limiting practice to three hours once a day and making helmets the only piece of equipment the players may wear on the first two days.
Other organizations like the Youth Sports Safety Alliance and Safe Kids Worldwide are starting to get involved to bring the focus beyond concussions and highlight issues involving heart attacks, heat stroke, neck injuries, back injuries and other personal injuries.
Do you put a price on a life saved?
Others advocates and parents say schools and youth sport organizations need to purchase ice tubs, Electrocardiograms (EKG), Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and/or require specific medical screenings during regular physicals to detect heart conditions, etc. However, youth sports safety advocates are adamant that cost is not the central issue when it comes to diminishing risks to athletes according to a New York Times article. They say that additional education can raise the awareness needed to reduce fatalities, and that co-opting the amplified attention on concussion management might even be effective.
Playing youth sports allows kids to have fun, learn new skills (motor skills, communication skills, leaderships skills, teamwork, etc.), and make new friends. Children form some of their fondest memories playing sports while growing up. Educating and keeping young athletes safe from potential catastrophic injuries like concussions, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and more is of the utmost importance.
If your child has suffered a personal injury or catastrophic injury as a result of playing a sport, you may have the right to pursue a civil law suit if negligence or a defect product was involved. Contact the personal injury and catastrophic injury attorneys of Farmer, Jaffe Weissing today.