A recent CNN article gives us more on the topic.
The article follows two high school athletes seriously injured while participating in their chosen sport.
Fourteen-year-old Brittany Noffke is left with a skull fracture, concussion, and brain bruising after a fall in cheerleading practice. Brittany and her family face incredible emotional, physical, and financial hardship for years after the fall.
High school footballer Chris Canales suffers a serious spinal cord injury during a game. Immobilized, Chris now uses a wheelchair after a challenging physical and psychological recovery.
â€œI never thought of cheerleaders as athletes. I didnâ€™t realize the risk that these athletes face,â€ says Brittanyâ€™s mom.
â€œSomeone injured on a professional level is going to be taken care of. But on a high school level, itâ€™s a totally different story,â€ adds Chrisâ€™s dad.
An important theme in the article is the importance of concussion awareness. Brittanyâ€™s mom didnâ€™t think such a serious injury possible in her daughterâ€™s chosen sport. Chrisâ€™s father wasnâ€™t prepared for the challenges post-injury.
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has rolled out a new initiative to help build awareness of concussions in youth sports. Called â€œHeads Up,â€ the online resource provides coaches, athletes, and parents with information to help prevent, recognize and respond to a concussion.
A major point noted on the Heads Up website: if you think your athlete has sustained a concussion, donâ€™t assess it yourself. Take him/her out of play, and seek the advice of a health care professional.
For more information:
- Dealing with the aftermath of a serious high school sports injury, CNN U.S.
- Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports, Injury Prevention & Control: Traumatic Brain Injury, CDC
- Concussion, Kids & Sport, Slater Vecchio Connected