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Concussion risks high for student athletes

Some Louisiana residents may view concussions as relatively minor injuries after when they see that professional athletes with them tend to miss only a few weeks of action, but many medical experts would disagree. The National Football League has received criticism for not making enough of an effort to protect players from the risk of recurrent head trauma, and younger athletes may be even more vulnerable to concussions. Children rarely play sports like football, hockey or lacrosse with teams of qualified medical personnel looking on, and concussions suffered while playing contact sports send about 175,000 children to American emergency rooms each year.

A concussion occurs when a blow or bump on the head causes the brain to bump the inside walls of the skull. While a single concussion can cause bruising and bleeding, repeated head trauma may change the chemistry of the brain and impact concentration, memory and personality. Concussions do not show up in brain scans or X-rays, and medical professionals must observe symptoms keenly if they are to make an accurate diagnosis.

Common symptoms of these brain injuries include persistent headaches, drowsiness, nausea and slurred speech. Treatment usually involves rest and parents monitoring their children closely and seeking further medical treatment for them if their recovery seems slow or their condition gets worse. This could become a reality for any of the parents of the approximately 1.1 million high school students in the United States who play organized football.

The effects of a brain injury can last a lifetime, and those who suffer head trauma due to the negligent actions of others may pursue civil remedies. A personal injury attorney with experience in this area may be able to help parents of a concussion victim to initiate a lawsuit to try to claim damages for negligence such as inadequate supervision.

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