Childhood and Youth Sport Injuries

Youth Sports and Concussion Injuries: Keeping Your Kids Safe

Playing football, baseball, soccer, or the like is a rite of passage for most kids. It's a great way for them to burn off energy and learn teamwork. Recently, however, parents and health care professionals alike are alarmed at the statistics emerging regarding damage from repeated concussions during youth sports activities.

If your child hits his or head at school, or during a school-sponsored sporting event, ensure he or she gets immediate medical treatment, even if the injury seems mild. Your child's coach and school should be trained in exactly what do to in this event. And if someone is negligent during the process, contact a Washington attorney to help you protect your child's rights.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury that happens when the brain receives a hard blow, resulting in the brain actually shaking inside the skull. Because concussions can cause a temporary interruption in normal brain activity, they are especially dangerous in children, whose brains are still developing. Without treatment, a concussion can have long-term effects.

In youth sports, concussion injuries are common. However, sometimes a concussion is difficult to recognize. If your child suffers a blow to the head, or falls and hits his or her head, look out for the following signs:

  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness, even for a moment
  • Personality changes

Washington State Law Regarding Youth Sport Concussion Injuries

Washington revised its law regarding how schools should react to head injuries in 2009. The revised code reads as follows:

  • Wash. Rev. Code §28A.600.190 (2009 HB 1824) — Requires each school district's board of directors to work with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association to develop guidelines and other information to educate coaches, athletes, and parents or guardians about concussion and head injury, including continuing to play after injury is sustained. A youth athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury must be removed from play until cleared by a licensed health care provider.

If your child suffers injury from a concussion and you believe his or her school and/or coach was negligent, contact a Tacoma personal injury attorney immediately for help and support.