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The dangers of sports-related concussions for child athletes

Ohio residents likely know that many professional athletes suffer dangerous head injuries while playing high-impact sports, such as football or hockey. However, many people are unaware that children are just as susceptible to sports-related head trauma as professionals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 175,000 American children are treated in emergency rooms each year for sports-related concussions. Concussions occur when someone receives a blow to the head or body that causes the brain to slide back and forth in the skull. Repeated concussions can change the brain's chemistry and cells, causing long-term issues with concentration, mood and problem-solving. Symptoms of head trauma may include loss of consciousness, one pupil appearing larger than the other, a continuous headache, drowsiness, slurred speech, decreased coordination, vomiting, convulsions, seizures, confusion and aggressive behavior. Other signs may include memory loss, dazed expression, forgetfulness and personality changes.

If a child athlete suffers one concussion and receives proper treatment and rest, he or she should fully recover. However, repeated concussions can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is characterized by memory loss, impaired judgment, loss of impulse control, depression and dementia. Medical experts stress that no helmet on the market today can prevent the brain from jostling around in the skull. They say it is best to mitigate a child's risk of concussions by limiting activities that expose them to repeated blows to the head.

Head injuries can cause long-term medical issues, including permanent disability. Although they are commonly associated with contact sports, they frequently result from motor vehicle accidents as well. TBI victims who sustained their injuries in a car crash caused by a negligent driver may want to help the help of a personal injury attorney in filing a lawsuit seeking compensation from the motorist who was at fault.

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