Concussions in Youth Sports Being Studied by the US Government
Brain injuries in youth sports have been on the rise in recent years, alarming many parents about the lifelong effects of concussions. The number of brain injuries linked to American youth increased 62 percent between the years of 2001 and 2009, with reported incidents around 250,000 in 2009 (Obama, NFL, NCAA Get Behind Research into Concussions in Youth Sports: Insurance Journal, May 29, 2014).
Too many children and young adults are suffering from concussions, leading to cognitive learning disabilities, psychological effects, and can affect their future sports careers. If a child suffered a concussion when they were younger, another blow to the head could be devastating.
“To that end, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Defense Department will devote $30 million to fund a comprehensive study of the impact of concussion injuries. In addition, theNational Football League (NFL) is contributing $25 million over three years to promote youth sports safety, including a program that will expand access to athletic trainers in schools. Steve Tisch, owner of the New York Giants, pledged $10 million to launch a concussion study program at the University of California-Los Angeles that will focus on prevention and outreach efforts among youth. And NIH will research the long-term effects of repetitive concussions with $30 in additional funding from the NFL,” (White House Summit Draws Support for Studying, Preventing Concussions: AAFP News, June 2, 2014).
“Nothing is more precious than our children,” statesFrank N. Darras, America’s top disability insurance lawyer.“This new government project will be looking into the future of kids who suffer from head injuries along with safety precautions that can be used to prevent them. Many kids may not realize they have a serious head injury or if they do, oftentimes, they keep on playing. Often, kids do not understand the dangers but it is part of our culture to play through the pain, to be tough and win the game. I am excited to see where this research leads and how many of our kids can move on to bright futures.”
“I’m really glad there’s a large number of people out there concerned with the severity of head injuries in our children. This study will uncover groundbreaking research on how to better enforce safety in youth sports and provide kids with ways to learn how to protect themselves from head injuries. I hope to see more on this topic in the near future and can’t wait to see the amount of brain injuries in kids decrease once more,” says Darras.
Concussions aren’t limited to kids, however, but are a danger to anyone involved in sports or physical activity. Recently, many athletic organizations have been taking a good, long look at how prevalent head injuries are and how they can keep their players safe. Even with all the safety measures in place, an injury-free game is never guaranteed. In the event an injury does happen, athletes should have a disability insurance policy in place to provide benefits if they can no longer participate in their sport.