Participating in sports has many benefits. It teaches us valuable lessons in team work, leadership, discipline, and adversity. For a lucky few, playing sports can turn into a profession. For most of us, they’re simply fun, keep us in shape, and provide an outlet for daily stress.
However, the benefits of sports should not obscure the risks, especially the risk of concussion. By now – thanks to the increasing focus on the NFL – most people are aware of the concussion risks associated with playing football. But every other impact sport also carries a risk of concussion. Baseball players can be hit in the head by a sharp line-drive back to the mound. Soccer players can head a ball too hard. Hockey players are routinely body-checked, and basketball players collide with each other every game. Further, all sports carry the risk of a player falling and hitting their head on a field, court, track, or mat.
Professional sports receive the most publicity, but concussions occur at high school sporting events all too often. If not caught in a timely manner, there is increased risk that a concussion may cause severe, debilitating long-term injury, including memory issues, headaches, fatigue, and other serious cognitive, physical, and emotional symptoms. It is never worth allowing youth athletes to trade in their long-term health to play through an actual or suspected concussion.
While no sport is completely injury free, Kentucky legislators and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association recognized a need to protect our high school athletes from playing with suspected concussions and passed regulations to minimize concussion related injuries. These rules require coaches to complete training on how to recognize the symptoms of a concussion and seek proper treatment for players. They also require coaches to sit a player suspected of having a concussion until a medical professional can evaluate and clear the athlete. These rules apply to state high school programs and must be followed in games and practices.
Unfortunately, rules are sometimes ignored, and high school athletes are unnecessarily placed in situations that could cause or exacerbate serious injury. If you, or your student athlete, participated in a school sporting event while suffering from a suspected or actual concussion or any other injury: 1) seek immediate medical assistance and 2) contact the lawyers at Craig Henry PLC. You may have a claim if an injury occurred, or an injury was worsened, because the appropriate official did not adhere to Kentucky sports law.
Call our attorneys today at (502) 614-5962 for a free consultation.