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Most people today are aware of the concussion risk to athletes, especially those in contact sports such as football. It’s been estimated that each year more than one quarter of a million young people under the age of nineteen suffer concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBI) due to sports- and recreation-related head impacts.
Indiana is already leading the nation when it comes to recognition of the dangers: The state recently enacted a law requiring youth-athletics coaches to complete training to help them identify the symptoms of concussions in their players and take action to address them, which will take full effect in July 2017.
One Indianapolis high school isn’t waiting until then. This month, Brebeuf Jesuit began using a new system which actually monitors the hits players take on the field and relays warnings to coaches on the sidelines to keep them informed of potential problems.
It’s becoming more common to hear people suggest that the game of football is simply too dangerous and that it should be abolished. They cite not only the number of injuries to young players but also the lifelong effects suffered by professionals, a problem the NFL is still facing. However, others have hopes that the game can continue to be played as long as steps are taken to make it safer.
Some of those steps include changing the way hits are executed, developing concussion-resistant helmets, and finding ways to better monitor player health. Brebeuf Jesuit has implemented one of these monitoring systems: InSite from sports-equipment manufacturer Riddell. Available since 2013, InSite uses sensors in special helmets to detect hard hits. If an impact is significant, an alert is sent using wireless technology to a hand-held device on the sidelines. Coaches can then take action. Other users of the system have noted that it issues many false alarms, but most would agree that that’s better than letting potentially serious injuries go unaddressed.
When it comes to worries about concussion and TBI, youth athletes and children shouldn’t be overlooked. A surprising number receive such injuries every year. Around 10 percent of playground injuries—more than 20,000 each year—are also categorized as TBI. That’s been the fastest growing type of playground injury over the past decade.
Some sports and play injuries are caused when activities take an unsafe turn or because something truly unforeseeable took place. But the stark reality is that few of these injuries are indisputably “accidents.” Most are the result of unsafe conditions or take place when supervising adults make poor decisions.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a concussion or traumatic brain injury, contact the Indianapolis Brain Injury Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.