Concussion Lawsuits

Could a school’s sports program be sued for a concussion? A few days ago, Stand on Heads looked at the startling statistics about the lack of athletic trainers in many schools around the country. A few days ago, Insurance Journal wrote a shocking article on possible litigations against “non-professional leagues.” These injury claims could fall onto the laps of youth sports coaches as well, who may have rushed the players back into the season, without clearance to do so. Doctors and athletic trainers could also be in trouble if they misdiagnosed a concussion and allowed the athlete the ability to reenter a game.

The article also speaks on the impact these claims could have on sports in school, or youth sports in general. A school would get in trouble if they did not have athletic trainer on site when an injury occurs.

While these claims haven’t made a big splash yet, I believe that parents should also take some responsibility and do some research to make sure your child is ready to play. I don’t know if lawsuits are the best way to go, but this will push the incentive to learn everything we can about concussion and prevent them so this is not a major problem just like it has been done in professional sports.

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Other Ways to Cure a Sports Injury

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Can yoga help an athlete recover after a tough injury? I read an inspiring and educational story from a blog I follow on Twitter, Mom’s Team. Their post proves that even though all injuries cannot be completely cured by medicine or braces, other natural ways may do the trick.

Not only did Deb Bowen, the Yoga instructor and mother of a young athlete, teach her child yoga but she also saved his playing days. After a rare injury had doctors saying her son could only rest the injury in his knee but could not play sports again, she used yoga to help loosen his muscles and put him back on the field. Please check this out.

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Athletic Trainers Missing?

Can you imagine a school sporting event without an athletic trainer? This is the case around United States where more children are headed to the hospital when the injury could be handled on the sideline. Stand on Heads had a blog post about National Athletic Trainer month taking place in March, but the awareness for athletic trainers’ significance is still needed today. Taking a child to the emergency room costs a parent a lot of money, even if the injury is not severe.

CBS New York posted an article on this problem effecting youth basketball players. Dr. Max Gomez said if there were enough athletic trainers children could be treated on site. Lara McKenzie of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, found that only around 42 percent of high schools had an athletic trainer and in middle schools, less than that.

This is very surprising to me because I thought athletic trainers could be found at every high school in the U.S. who funded sports programs.

What are your thoughts on this problem?

One Sport Can Become a Chore

If your child was of the age to play sports, would you push them to only play your favorite sport? Would you give the child a variety to choose from? Today we are seeing many parents who want to put their child in one sport because they feel like this gives their child a better chance to succeed in youth sports and up until high school and college.

Changing the Game Project, has a great post on this subject. A child is more likely to be worn out if they play one sport and more susceptible to an overuse injury. Their body is not ready for the demand of a year round sport, but rather to be introduced to multiple sports throughout the year. According to Changing the Game Project, the best time to focus on one sport, if the teen wants to, would be between the ages of 16 to 20 years of age. But some activity should be spent away from the main sport as well.

Children put into one sport at an early age can become bored and dissatisfied with the demand of a year round sport, especially if it is not their top choice. Mark Marinello, a youth soccer coach, said it is best to try different sports to determine which is the child’s favorite. Most parents can probably see their child bored with a sport at practice or on the ride home from practice.

What are your thoughts?

Watch Your Mouth

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There is one important part of the body that is susceptible to injury, but is often left out of the discussion of youth sports injuries. I have not touched upon injuries of the mouth yet, but with baseball season starting within the next few weeks, it is time.

Mouth guards have recently become very popular in athletes of multiple sports. The only time I wore a mouth guard in youth sports was football. Today, with NBA players like LeBron James and Stephen Curry wearing a mouth guard, it is now a fashionable item. On top of that, it is also an effective product to protect a young athletes’ mouth. According to North Aurora Smiles, 10 to 39 percent of dental injuries in children happen because of sports. And according to Sensitive Care, teeth are stronger than bone, but a chipped tooth cannot heal like a broken bone.

It’s up to the player and parent on what type of mouth guard they want. Research is probably the best way to decide. There are mouth guards that can be custom made and mouth guards that are boiled and then hold the impression of the teeth after the child bites down.  There are even mouth guards for children with braces. A mouth guard can cushion a blow to the jaw and lips as well as the teeth.

What are your thoughts on mouth guards? Should they be worn in every sport a child plays?

What to Eat Before and After a Game

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Many professional players have their own pregame meals before games. Some are superstitious and others think the meal improves their performance. Youth players may not have a set pregame meal but there are certain meals and times that a player can eat to decrease the chance of cramping and running low on energy.

Boston.com has a great slide show-type article, on the day of the Boston Marathon, giving explanations from some of the best trainers and nutritionists in the world on how to eat before and after a game. Before a game and practice, some say it is up to the player on how much they want to eat and what they want. Parents may have to help the younger athletes out in picking a well-balanced, healthy meal. Carbohydrates are important because they are the “gasoline” to keep the body moving as the article puts it. Rice, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and grains are a few examples.

Hydration is key during the game.  Truestarhealth.com suggests water is best for athletes competing less than two hours. Not very many electrolytes are burned in that time and do not need to be replenished. After the race, an athlete should consume carbs, proteins, and salt to replenish, repair and restock the body.

Encourage the athletes to eat healthy so they can run through the season and not run out of energy.

Safe Practice

You may think youth sports safety is in danger on the playing field, not the practice field. But the statistics show differently. As Dr. Charles E. Wilhelm reports, “65 percent of injuries occur in practice.” So how can coaches better exercise player safety in practice? There are many steps that good coaches take to make sure their players are protected from injury as long much as possible.

Safety in practice goes back to Stand on Heads’ previous post regarding stretching. Ezine articles wrote an excellent article for coaches and how they can better schedule their practices. For this post, we are looking at the daily plans, when the practice is in action, and the players are going all out. The last portion of this article addresses this topic; and getting the body warm is key. It can be put into three phases that should last about five minutes. These phases of Aerobic Warm-Up, Stretching, and Technical Skills Warm Up should be completed prior to the practice. Following practice, a 10 minute cool down should follow, to ensure that players are not going from a hard practice to sitting and possibly cramping.

Enzine also explains that players should have a water break every 15 minutes to ensure proper hydration. If coaches can follow these steps closely we may see the statistic of injuries in practice go down.

It just depends on if the coaches are willing to take a few minutes out of practice to ensure the players’ safety.