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Youth Sports and Brain Injuries: Changes on the Way?

Casey Woodruff
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Head injuries are extremely common in children. Physicians at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine evaluated the causes of head injuries for 43,000 children between the ages 13 and 17. The results were alarming.

The study found that 24 percent of the head injuries were sustained during assaults; 19 percent were sports-related; and 18 percent stemmed from motor vehicle accidents. Doctors believe the information will allow physicians to better diagnose children with head injuries and may help policymakers take steps to prevent head injuries. Kimberly S. Quayle, MD, professor of pediatrics at Washington University, said that “the findings may provide reliable guideposts in developing injury-prevention measures.”

Illinois has already taken measures to prevent brain injuries in children participating in youth sports. Earlier this year, former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation to help reduce and prevent concussions among high school athletes. Under the new law, high school athletic directors and coaches throughout the state must undergo training on concussion awareness and reduction. Governor Quinn state that the legislation will protect the health of young athletes because “coaches will be better prepared to address and prevent concussions among their student athletes.”Illinois Takes Step to Prevent Head Injuries in Youth Sports

Signs of a Possible Concussion or Head Injury

Timely diagnosis and treatment of head injuries are critical in mitigating the effects of pediatric head injuries. Parents and coaches should look for the following signs and symptoms of a head injury:

  • A forceful bump, hit or jolt to the head or body that results in a violent movement of the head;
  • Change in a child’s behavior, thinking, or physical functioning;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Headaches or pressure in the head;
  • Blurry vision or sensitivity to light; and
  • Loss of consciousness.

Contact an Illinois Head and Brain Injury Attorney

If your child has suffered a serious head injury, please contact Woodruff Johnson & Palermo’s Illinois brain injury attorneys. Our brain injury attorneys will work with you to help you fully understand your rights and the impact of any brain injuries. Contact us at (866) 400-4450 to schedule an appointment or visit one of our offices in Aurora, Champaign, and on N. LaSalle Street in Chicago.

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