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Austin Personal Injury Blog

Thursday, September 20, 2018

4 Tips to Protect Your Student Athlete From Traumatic Brain Injuries This Fall

Since schools are back in session during the fall, this means many students are also out playing and practicing sports. While athletics can be a great way to keep students in shape, they also come with the risk for injury.

Some of the most-talked about injuries seen in sports are concussions and associated traumatic brain injuries. Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries can happen when an athlete gets hit on the head by a ball or another player.

Symptoms can range from a headache all the way up to a traumatic brain injury that leads to permanent paralysis or memory loss. A growing amount of evidence is suggesting traumatic brain injuries and concussions can occur even through repeated low-grade head impacts.

As a result, many parents wonder how they can keep their student athletes safe from traumatic brain injuries while they are out on the field.

Keeping track of head injuries can be tough for a number of reasons. Many coaches and officials are not properly trained in how to spot symptoms of concussions or more severe head injuries. Some athletes feel like they should be ‘playing through the pain’ no matter what. Others see head-to-head contact as just part of the game, even if it is against the rules.

Tips for Protecting Against Traumatic Brain Injuries in Sports

Keep the following four tips in mind before sending your athlete out to play this fall in order to cut down on the risk of a traumatic brain injury.

  1. Choose the Right Helmet. Some people choose to pick cheaper helmets for sports like baseball and football, but the right helmet can go a long way in keeping heads safe while playing sports. Be sure to study the certification sticker before purchasing to understand if the helmet is single or multi-impact.

  2. Teach Proper Technique. A lot of serious concussions and traumatic brain injuries in sports like football come after poor tackling technique, where people choose to lead with their head before making a hit. Teach your student athlete how to tackle properly without the head, and make sure that full-speed blocking or tackling drills are limited in number outside of game time.

  3. Talk About Injury Reporting. Brain injuries that are serious are usually pretty noticeable, but what can seem like a minor concussion can turn into something more serious without treatment. Encourage your student athlete to report instances of head injuries or pain to coaches or medical personnel, even if they feel like it might be hurting the team or their chances to play.

  4. Practice Neck Strengthening Exercises. A growing number of personal trainers and coaches have started to implement neck strengthening exercises into training routines. Evidence shows that stronger neck muscles might help cushion the head and lessen trauma after a hit, cutting down on the risk of a traumatic brain injury.

Student athletes should work with an experienced and certified trainer to come up with a neck strengthen program if they are interested in this type of training.

If your child has suffered a TBI in a sporting event, schedule a consult with the Texas personal injury lawyers at The Tony Law Firm today.


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