Athletes are subject to severe brain injuries and concussions during sports and physical activities, especially high-impact activities.
Many coaches and players are tempted to dismiss such injuries as “getting your bell rung,” and often think they are insignificant. The North Carolina traumatic brain injury attorneys at HensonFuerst know that concussions are a form of brain injury and need to be treated as such.
Brain Injury: Signs and Symptoms
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms may appear immediately or occur slowly over time. In some cases, symptoms that seem mild or insignificant at first may evolve, becoming serious or even life-threatening within hours or days. That’s why the North Carolina traumatic brain injury lawyers at HensonFuerst recommend that you seek medical help immediately after experiencing any head injury.
Symptoms vary widely depending on the type, severity, and location of the injury to the brain and may include, but are not limited to:
- blurred or double vision,
- difficulty concentrating or speaking,
- difficulty walking or coordinating fine movements,
- excessive fatigue,
- excessive sleepiness,
- immediate and persistent headache,
- loss of consciousness,
- memory loss,
- and vomiting or feeling nauseated.
Whether cheerleading—or cheer—is defined as a sport or another athletic activity, proper training and safety precautions should be an integral part of practices and performances. Unfortunately, in many schools, cheerleading programs lack safety limits and trained coaches.
Cheerleading accounts for more than 65 percent of catastrophic injuries in girls’ high school athletics. –MSNBC
Cheerleading Safety Measures
Without appropriate coaching and safety measures, potentially devastating injuries may occur. Our North Carolina brain injury attorneys encourage all cheerleading parents to play a role in helping to prevent severe injuries.
Ask questions about:
- The coach’s experience
- What type of athletes the coach has worked with
- Whether the coach has experience with gymnastics stunt work
- What types of activities the squad will be asked to perform
- Who will supervise practices
- Where activities will be performed
- What type of safety equipment will be available during practices
In addition, parents should check out the practice space to make sure it’s safe. Foam mats should always be used for training—stunts should never be practiced on a hard basketball gym floor. Spotters (trained spotters, not other teenagers learning the routine) should stand by when a new stunt or gymnastic move is being learned.
You may also want to consider supplemental lessons at a certified gymnastics gym if your child’s coach expects a high level of gymnastic ability.
Take Immediate Action
Young children should be pulled from a game immediately after any impact to the head. Ask the coach or certified athletic trainer how long your child should sit on the sidelines to ensure that the brain has time to heal. Current recommendations suggest that children under age 18 should not return to sports for at least three months following the diagnosis of a concussion.
If you or your child suffers a sports-related brain injury—even a minor one—our North Carolina brain injury lawyers may be able to help. We’re here to make sure you and your family get the fair treatment you deserve. Call today at (919) 781-1107 or complete a free initial consultation form.