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What Are The Signs to Identify Sports-Related Head Injuries?

Jason Reese


  • Parents can help their children stay safe during sports practices and athletic events by identifying the sports which are the most dangerous and require extra prevention measures against accident injuries to the head.
  • High impact sports performed without adequate safety equipment or injury prevention and treatment guidelines leaves student athletes at risk to sustain an excessive amount of head injuries each year.
  • Football, as well as soccer and boxing, remain some of the most dangerous sports when it comes to high school students receiving and suffering from concussions and a more prevalent brain disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
  • While awareness for recognizing a serious head injury in your child athlete requires greater education of the symptoms and warning signs, it also remains important to know that not all head injuries will present with such signs.

Football Preseason Prep for Parents of Young Athletes: Concussions Are NOT the Only Head Injury to Worry About

Football season is nearly here, and many high school and college teams are starting up their full practice season. Football still ranks as one of the most dangerous sports related to concussions and serious head blows that cause damage to the head, neck and spine. And the ground-breaking information regarding CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy we read about in 2017 continues to support the fact that the more hits a child athlete receives to the head, the greater the risk for the degenerative brain disease that slowly kills brain cells over time, even if the player never has a concussion or presents symptoms.

If your child is gearing up for the Indiana high school football season, you both need to become more aware of the brain injury and CTE risks. Being informed on what a traumatic brain injury can turn into can help parents identify when their children are in dangerous situations caused by spots injuries that should have been prevented or caught. Parents should also be able to align with their child’s coach and school to help recognize symptoms, acknowledge uncommon behaviors, and promptly treat them until links between CTE and change in policies that protect athletes from the disease become the norm.

Understanding Indiana Head Injury Protocol for Student Athletes

If you child athlete is impacted by a head injury, Indiana law says, “If a student athlete has had a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body, the student may be assessed by an athletic trainer or a licensed health care provider, if available. The athletic trainer or health care provider can make a first assessment of the student athlete at the time of injury. If the student exhibits any of the danger signs associated with a concussion, the student athlete should receive immediate medical attention.” Medical experts at Indiana University provides this list of concussion symptoms to guide parents, coaches and young athletes:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Fuzzy or blurry vision
  • Nausea or vomiting (early on)
  • Sensitivity to noise or light
  • Feeling sluggish, tired, or groggy
  • Feeling unusually irritable
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • More emotional
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering new information

If a student athlete does exhibit even one of these symptoms, a head injury should be suspected, and the student athlete should be removed from play, the athlete’s parents should be notified, the athlete should not return to play for a minimum of 24 hours and not before being evaluated by a licensed health care provider and a written clearance must be completed. Sometimes coaches or other athletic staff (and parents) will allow a seemingly healed athlete return to play before this time.

Indiana Brain Injury Attorneys

Could your child’s brain injury have been prevented or was it improperly diagnosed, or ignored by your student’s school? Help us raise awareness for the seriousness of these injuries and hold coaches, schools, and doctors accountable for properly treating and caring for our children. The traumatic brain injury attorneys at Wagner Reese are here to listen and help support your family. Give us a call at (888) 204-8440 today or connect with us by submitting our online form and our attorneys will promptly review your information.


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