Football and traumatic brain injuries go hand in hand

| Aug 3, 2020 | brain injuries

Kids in Texas can learn a lot from team sports, like how to work well with others and the discipline to work toward a goal. Unfortunately, they can also learn just how serious traumatic brain injuries — TBI — can be. Youth sports send hundreds of thousands of minors to the emergency room every year, and contact sports like football seem to be the most dangerous.

A recent study determined that every year between 2010 and 2016, around 283,000 youth athletes visited the emergency room for sports related TBIs. The exact impact of all these injuries is not totally clear, either. A clinical professor from the Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences says there is simply not enough research on the matter.

But what is clear is that football is the most dangerous contact sport. All contact sports — including football — accounted for 45% of ER visits in that same study. Football made up the largest share of contact sports, causing roughly 25% of all visits. There was an overall 39% decline in TBIs from youth football from 2013 to 2018, but researchers say it is not because of better safety protocols. Instead, it is simply because fewer kids are joining the sport.

Schools, youth sport organizations and coaches are responsible for providing the safest possible environments for youth athletes. Even when it comes to football, there are various restrictions that can lower the risk of concussion and other serious brain injuries. Sadly, winning is often prioritized over safety. Texas parents who are now facing the long road to recovery alongside their children may want to consider holding negligent parties responsible for their actions, as successfully pursued personal injury claims can yield both compensation and effective changes.