Accidents that occur when young people are playing sports result in about 8,000 children and young adults visiting emergency rooms every year in the United States. The National Athletic Trainers Association also indicates that there are an estimated 715,000 injuries each year among high school athletes.
More than seven million high school students in the United States play a team sport during the school year. Among all kids between the ages of six and 18, there are around 40 million young athletes who participate in some type of organized sports play. Unfortunately, all of these young people could be at risk of getting hurt, especially if their coaches or the athletic department in their school does not take adequate precautions to protect the safety of student athletes. If a school, coach or athletic director is negligent and a sports accident occurs as a result, it is essential for parents to contact a personal injury lawyer for help.
Sports Accident Prevention During the School Year
The National Athletic Trainers Association has provided some key tips as kids go back to school. The goal is to reduce the risk of young athletes suffering serious or potentially life-changing or fatal injuries. Advice to increase the safety of sporting activities for young athletes includes the following:
- Have all players undergo a thorough medical exam before they start playing any type of organized sport. Many schools require a doctor to sign a permission slip before a young athlete is able to begin playing. Be sure that an orthopedic assessment is part of the exam.
- Educate parents, athletes and coaches about the dangers of concussions and the potential signs that a head injury occurred. If there is doubt about whether a young athlete may have suffered a concussion, the student should not continue to play and should receive a comprehensive medical evaluation.
- Ensure that all equipment, playing surfaces and locker room areas are inspected and maintained. A detailed inspection should be made at the start of the school year to identify any problems that may have developed during summer break or the off-season. Ongoing maintenance should be performed as needed throughout the season.
- Have a plan for how students should be cared for if they are hurt. Schools should have a written emergency action plan that is reviewed by the athletic director as well as by coaches. The plan should specify who will provide on-field care as well as what equipment is available if an emergency occurs and what role each staff member will play.
The National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study reported that the majority of injuries affecting high school athletes occurred in boys’ football. However, boys’ soccer, boys and girls’ basketball and other sports were also dangerous and caused hundreds or thousands of injuries each year. Injuries to the head or face were the most common, with more than 350,356 hear or face injuries occurring just during the 2012-2013 school year.
Parents, athletes and coaches all need to do their part to stay safe as young people head back to school and resume their sporting activities.
If you or a loved one was injured, accident lawyers in Louisville can help. Call Shelton Law Group today for a free case consultation.