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Awareness Month Highlights Seriousness of Brain Injuries

On behalf of Oldham & Smith posted in Brain Injuries on Monday, March 19, 2012

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and it’s meant to shed light on how serious and common brain injuries can be, particularly among student athletes. Brain injuries can range from a minor concussion to a severe traumatic brain injury.

According to Patch, about 170,000 children are treated for sports or recreation-related traumatic brain injuries in emergency rooms each year. That’s in addition to 3.8 million concussions that occur in sports activities in the U.S. every year. The number of injuries has been on the rise, particularly among students, and that clearly presents a problem.

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries can be caused any number of ways, including a violent jerk of the head, being struck in the head by a moving object or a blow to the head. One problem is that head injuries can be difficult to diagnose, and delayed treatment of a serious injury can result in permanent damage.

People with serious head injuries may suffer from headaches and could be rendered unconscious following an injury. Lasting effects can include headaches, changes in mental state and trouble concentrating, and death may occur in the most extreme cases.

As for concussions, young athletes often take longer to recover from concussions than adults do because their brains are still in development. Forcing a child to return to play in a game after they suffer a brain injury can cause additional damage.

One way for athletes to prevent injuries in the first place is to wear proper protective gear, including helmets. It’s also important for athletes, parents and coaches to be aware of the dangers of brain injuries, and to know that they must be treated immediately if an injury is suspected.

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