Though sports injuries are common among child athletes, the number of basketball associated concussions and other brain injuries have increased during the last few years. Researchers calculated that roughly 4.1 million kids between 5 to 19 years of age have gone to an emergency room between 1997 and 2007.
According to Reuters Health, almost 400,000 children and teens from the United States are admitted into an ER each year because of basketball related injuries. The Pediatrics Journal reported traumatic brain injuries (TBI), such as concussions and skull fractures, make up about 109,000 ER visits nationally each year. The number of brain injuries rose 70 percent over time, from more than 7,000 in 1997 to nearly 12,000 in 2007.
FindLaw's KnowledgeBase explains that TBIs can be mild or severe. Concussions are commonly referred to as "mild brain injuries" because they are not usually life threatening, but the term "mild" can veil the gravity of a head injury. Studies have shown that individuals, like student athletes, who suffer repeated concussions may incur permanent brain damage and require life-long medical care. A New York personal injury attorney experienced with brain injuries may help clarify a person's legal options when it comes to compensating medical expenses.
Though the rapid increase in TBIs appears overwhelming, this research is not meant to discourage children from playing basketball. Senior researcher Dr. Lara B. McKenzie recognizes most physical activities involve some risks, but studies such as this aim to uncover the reasons behind the increase in TBI injuries over time. For example, basketball games could be "getting rougher" and more physical because young athletes may be bigger than in the past, whereas age-appropriate basketballs could be one way to help prevent younger children from injury.
To learn more about TBI and how to prevent sports related injuries, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.
- Brain Injury - Overview (FindLaw)
- Meet with a New York Personal Injury Attorney (FindLaw)
- Traumatic Brain Injury Cases (FindLaw's KnowledgeBase)
- Reducing the Risks of Head Injuries for Young Athletes in New Jersey (FindLaw's KnowledgeBase)