Summer Means More ER Visits for Children

As spring moves into summer, children and teens head outside to bike, play sports and be active. By June each year, pediatric doctors typically treat double the patients as they do in the winter months. Accident and injury lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm highlight the most dangerous activities and how to prevent brain injuries, broken bones, and other serious injuries.

Injuries start increasing in April, when winter begins to subside, with most injuries occurring in children aged eight to eleven. Pediatricians note that adolescents are more vulnerable to injuries during periods of rapid growth, because bones have special areas of cartilage (called growth plates) during this time to allow the bone to grow. Hormones produced during this time also render growth plates weaker than normal, making injuries even more likely.

Fortunately, children heal much faster than adults due to better circulation and constant bone production. Children who specialize in a specific sport often over-train certain muscle groups, increasing the risk of injury. In particular, much attention has been brought on mild and traumatic brain injuries in young athletes.

Forearms injuries are the most common injuries seen in ER and urgent care clinics, normally from playground and sports injuries, when kids stick out their arms to catch their fall. Scooter and bicycle injuries are also extremely common, along with trampoline injuries and foot injuries from wearing inadequate shoes.

Many doctors recommend wearing bump toes sandals since they offer protection without requiring socks. Children should always wear helmets and other protective gear, like elbow and knee guards, when riding bikes or scooters. All children should know how to swim and learn as soon as possible to avoid accidental drowning and other water accidents. Any family with a pool should have the area fenced off and locked when not in use.

Concussed Football Player Wins $1 Million Verdict

One high school student in Iowa was recently awarded nearly $1 million in a head injury lawsuit against his school. In 2012 during football practice, the high school freshman was being bullied by other players, having footballs thrown at his head from a short distance. The student asked the players to stop, and when they did not he told the football coach, several times, about the incident.

The coach did not take any action despite repeated requests from the bullied student. The freshman told numerous school officials that he believed he had a concussion, complaining of headaches, double vision, slurred speech, and partial paralysis. He was admitted to the hospital, where he was discovered to have cavernous malformation, which causes brain blood vessels to form abnormally.

Although cavernous malformation is a pre-existing condition, the repeated blows to the head caused severe brain bleeding and hemorrhaging. Doctors performed an emergency surgery to stop the bleed, placing the teen in a medically-induced coma. Today, the boy is still in recovery, using a wheelchair and suffering permanent brain damage.

Iowa passed a law in 2011 that requires all coaches and athletic staff to remove a player from the field at the first sign of a head injury. Players may only be permitted back on the field after a full evaluation and a doctor has cleared them for play.

The teen and his family sued the school on the basis of this 2011 law. A jury found the high school and its nurses negligent for failing to tell the football coaches and the boy’s grandmother about his head injury. He was awarded $990,000 in damages, the majority of which for loss of future earnings and pain and suffering.

A recent study showed that high school and college football players suffer more concussions during practice than during games – simply because there are far more practice than games. For players aged five to fourteen, however, the majority of concussions occurred during games. The rate of concussions is highest among college players.

On average, athletes need about two weeks to recover from a concussion. Those with repeated concussions need longer to recover, as symptoms can last for months afterward. Coaches and parents should be educated on proper tackling techniques, equipment, and recognizing the signs of concussions.

Our team of traumatic brain injury lawyers has decades of experience fighting on behalf of injured athletes and children. If you or someone you love suffered a serious injury from the negligence of another, contact our firm immediately for a free case review. We accept clients nationwide.

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