Teen athletes face a number of dangers every time they go to practice or have a game. In addition to regular injuries that could be caused by impact or repetitive stress, traumatic injuries could also cause serious or permanent damage. Despite the benefits of getting good exercise and learning teamwork, parents, educators, and teens should be aware of the risks and be prepared before starting a new school and sports season.
While there are some accidents that aren’t preventable, taking a proactive and knowledgeable approach to this year’s sports season could prevent serious injuries, and death. Our Asheville personal injury lawyers are experienced with the investigation and representation of teen sports accidents. We are dedicated to sports and team safety and helping to prevent injuries, including traumatic brain injury.
Teen athletes are vulnerable to joint injury, head and neck injury, heart trouble, and heat stroke. In a recent report by NPR, sports medicine doctors and other professionals offer the following checklist to keep your teen athletes healthy and safe.
Schools should have a certified athletic trainer available during games and practice. According to sports safety experts, approximately 1/3 of schools do not have a trainer at practice or at games. Schools should have a medical professional onsite to make key decisions, including when players may have suffered a heat stroke.
Keep an AED (automated external defibrillator) within easy reach. Most of us have seen an AED but have never used one. Having an AED in close proximity allows a trainer or coach to react quickly when an athlete suffers a cardiac problem. In most cases, an AED is needed immediately. It is not enough to have the equipment buried somewhere in the school.
Teens should have proper physical every year. Prior to starting the sports season, teens should have a sports physical. Residual injuries from a prior season should be checked by a medical professional to ensure that the athlete has recovered and can participate.
Make water freely accessible. Student athletes should have unfettered access to water. There should also be a structured time schedule to drink water, especially in the summer. When weather is hot, practices should be shorter and less intense.
Respond quickly to medical emergencies. Victims of heat stroke should be cooled immediately, even before they are taken to the hospital. Temperature must be under 104 degrees within 30 minutes after an athlete collapses. To cool down a heat stroke victim, immersion in cold water should be effective.
All players should be checked for the sickle cell trait. According to medical professionals, not all individuals with sickle cell disease have been diagnosed. Even though this condition is usually benign, it can result in sudden death when combined with dehydration and intense physical activity.
Parents, coaches, administrators and others responsible for overseeing athletic activity in a private or public setting should be aware of the risks faced by today’s athletic teens. They should also watch out for warning signs, including shortness of breath, muscle pain, back pain, cramping or head injuries. In the event of an sports injury or sudden death, an experienced advocate should consult with victims and investigate the cause of the accident.
If you or someone you love has suffered a sports injury, contact Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation with our North and South Carolina attorneys. Call 1-800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Carolina Charter Bus Accident Involves 28 Students, Kills Driver, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, June 18, 2013.
New Film Captures Reality of Brain Injuries, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, August 2, 2013.