Playing sports can be a great way for kids and teens in Colorado to stay in shape and learn what it means to be a part of team. Despite these undeniable benefits, those who play sports regularly run the risk of incurring traumatic brain injury, which in some cases can be fatal.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons lists some of the sports associated with TBI. While activities like football and boxing feature heavily, even those sports traditionally considered low-contact involve a risk of brain injury. For instance, cheerleaders often perform an array of acrobatic stunts during routines, which can end in injury if performed incorrectly. Cyclists also face an increased risk of brain injury while engaged in this sport. In fact, head injuries are the leading cause of death among cyclists, and in some cases may result in permanent disability.
21 percent of those involved in sports will suffer from significant head injuries as a result, which can encompass a range of ill-effects. Symptoms, such as impairment of neurological functions, can be long or short-term. Symptoms may resolve on their own, or they can extend indefinitely. In more serious cases, effects could require physical therapy or rehabilitation, which may still fail to restore one’s previous functionality. Overall, TBI is considered the foremost cause of sport-related fatalities.
Prevention of TBI is crucial to ensure the above effects do not occur. Brainline.org offers a number of useful tips that can greatly reduce the incidence and severity of sports-related TBI. Parents should take an active role in their kids’ sports pursuits by insisting that protective procedures are always undertaken. Helmets are just one aspect of this, and can also go a long way towards preventing serious head injuries from occurring. The right helmet should be tested by regulatory authorities and must be sized properly to ensure they offer the right level of protection.