According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year more than 3.8 Americans, many of them children and teens, sustain concussions during sports competitions, traffic accidents, trips and falls or while playing. Philadelphia personal injury lawyers say that number reflects only reported concussions. Many concussions cause no noticeable change in behavior or health so are shrugged off by coaches, parents and the children themselves as nothing more than a bad bump on the head. Sometimes, Philadelphia personal injury lawyers warn, those bumps cause brain injuries that only become apparent weeks or months or sometimes years in the future.
The number of children treated for concussions in emergency rooms has doubled over the past decade. Team sports account for the majority of concussion injuries among children with football inflicting more than half. In an interview published in the January 31, 2011 issue of Time magazine, University of North Carolina neuroscientist Kevin Guskiewicz explained that in addition to the severe brain trauma caused by concussions, athletes in contact sports suffer cumulative brain damage from hundreds of unreported minor subconcussive blows that do not generate immediate symptoms.
Unfortunately, keeping your child off the football team won’t eliminate his concussion risk. More than a third of concussion injuries suffered by children occur outside of team sports, either during active play or personal athletic pursuits (bike riding, skateboarding, ice skating, etc.). Since only 10% of concussion victims lose consciousness and many concussion symptoms don’t present until some time after the injury, Philadelphia parents may not even realize their child is at risk. If your child experiences headache, vomiting, dizziness, balance problems, light or noise sensitivity, confusion, irritability or amnesia, suspect a concussion and see a doctor immediately. Concussions injuries can be life-changing, requiring expensive testing and long-term medical treatment. A Philadelphia personal injury attorney can protect your rights and the rights of your child.