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Brain Injury Awareness Month: 170,000 Children Treated in ER Annually

The month of March is nearing its end, which means Brain Injury Awareness Month is almost over. Advocates who spent the whole month raising awareness for brain injury prevention hope that the messages they sent to people in Los Angeles and across the nation will carry past the close of March 31, 2012.

Advocates shared information such as the fact that approximately 170,000 children are admitted and treated in an emergency room each year after suffering a traumatic brain injury. Many of these injuries are the result of motor vehicle accidents, but with more and more children participating in athletics that are becoming increasingly more competitive, the number of sports-related injuries is on the rise. In the past 10 years, the number of sports-related injuries amongst children has increased by 60 percent.

The effects of a brain injury — even one that is considered minor — can follow a person well into the future. Professional athletes such as NFL pro bowler, Kris Dielman; NHL hockey legend, Sidney Crosby; and NY Ranger, Derek Boogard have all experienced career-changing or ending symptoms of traumatic brain injuries.

Anyone who has even a small interest in the world of sports has become aware of the recent Saints bounty scandal in the NFL, a league that was already under the eye of scrutiny in terms of player safety and susceptibility to head trauma. Whatever your view on the scandal, it goes to show that sports are becoming more competitive, and not always in a controlled manner, which can lead to serious damage. This attitude can trickle down to all levels of play.

When a person participates in a contact sport, they are risking a certain amount of injury. However, it does not mean that they cannot recover compensation when another player, coach, trainer, league administrator or any other associated person crosses the line and contributes to or commits negligent behaviors that cause brain injuries.

Source: Lawrenceville Patch, “March is Brain Injury Awareness Month,” Elizabeth McSpiritt, March 23, 2012