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When High School Athletes Experience Concussions


School spirit soars and the cheers from parent section are thunderous. That is your child down there on the field, making the play of the game. Nothing brings you more pride.

But what happens when a concussion turns your pride into horror? In that case, it is possible that an experienced personal injury attorney may be necessary.

According to the Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association, high school athletes experience 2 million injuries resulting in half-a-million sports-related doctor visits and 30,000 emergency-room visits every year. Between 2008-2011, there were over 200 fatalities among young athletes in this country.

It goes without saying that athletes are susceptible to all kinds of injuries, not the least of which are concussions.

Concussion Statistics

When head injuries occur, they are often referred to as a “zinger” or a “bell ringer.” The truth is, concussions are actually mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s). A TBI occurs when the brain “jiggles” around in the skull, causing bruising and swelling of the brain. Concussions may range from mild to severe, and are all too common among athletes in a wide array of sports. The facts on school-athlete concussions are stunning:

  • Not all concussions result in a loss of consciousness.
  • Although concussions are associated with hits to the head, hits to the body and whiplash are also associated with concussions.
  • Of all brain injuries caused from a premature return to activity following a concussion, half result in death.
  • Female soccer players experience 40 percent more concussions than their male counterparts in high school, and female basketball players suffer 240 percent more concussions than their male counterparts.
  • Half of high school athletes do not even report concussions to their coaches in an endplay to stay in the game.
  • When athletes do report a head injury, the sideline assessment used to determine the athlete’s condition fails to catch 40 percent of concussions.
  • Over 15 percent of football players who suffer a loss-of-consciousness concussion return to the game that same day.
  • The number of catastrophic football injuries among high school players triples that of college athletes.
  • When high school athletes experience concussion, they are three times more likely than other players to have another concussion in the same season.

Concussion Symptoms

  • Headache, blurred vision, balance problems;
  • Trouble with concentration, memory, or clear thinking;
  • Moodiness, irritability;
  • Nausea, lightheadedness, vomiting;
  • Inability to sleep;
  • Extreme lethargy.

Laws to Protect Young Athletes

In Florida, laws are on the books to protect student athletes:

  • Sanctioning authorities must ensure there are policies to provide risk information with regard to head injury;
  • Signed consent forms are required prior to any practices or competitions;
  • When head injuries are suspected, athletes are to be removed from play immediately;
  • Clearance from a medical professional is required before return to play after a head injury:

If your child experienced a traumatic brain injury, it is important that laws and due care were followed in order to offer maximum protection. If that is not the case in your scenario, personalized, aggressive legal representation by the knowledgeable team at The Law Offices of Robert W. Elton will help you pursue the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.