According to a recent survey, almost 3,000 students sustained some type of Massachusetts head injury while playing sports last year. 164 schools participated in providing such information. About 525 Massachusetts schools did not make the reporting deadline for the survey.
The survey comes following a new state law regarding statewide standards to prevent head injuries that public high and middle schools and schools that have to adhere to Massachusetts Interscholastic Athlete Association rules must now follow. The law also requires training on the issue and provides rules about when players can go back to the field. Marching band, cheerleading, and ultimate Frisbee are also covered under the new law.
In the last few years, there has been growing concern about the head injuries sustained not just by professional athletes, but also by college players and student athletes during sports. Numerous former-NFL football players have even filed brain injury lawsuits against the National Football Legal and helmet maker Riddell. Per the plaintiffs, the league knew that concussions and other head injuries that are sustained while playing sports could later result in permanent brain damage but failed to warn about such serious ramifications, while the sporting gear manufacturer is accused of making products that didn’t provide sufficient protection.
Sustaining multiple head injuries appears to come with a greater risk of permanent damage later on. Also, making/allowing a player to come back before he/she is fully recovered from a concussion doesn’t help.
In this survey, Boston College High School, a private Dorchester boys’ school, reported the highest number of head injuries sustained, 76, during extracurricular athletic-related activities. BC High School has approximately 750 kids that play 17 sports. While dozens of schools reported head injuries in the double digits, 29 reported single digit numbers. Schools that offer limited athletic programs generally reported significantly less head injuries.
Schools, their athletic program, and staff must make sure that the proper protective measures are in place and abided by to protect their students from suffering serious injuries when they are playing sports-whether during practice or while competing. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and negligence on the part of the school can place student athletes at risk. Please contact our Boston traumatic brain injury law firm to request your free case evaluation.
Massachusetts schools report thousands of head injuries in sports, Boston.com, October 27, 2012
Former NFL players combine head-injury lawsuits, SF Gate, June 8, 2012
105 CMR 201.000: Head injuries and concussions in extracurricular activities, LawLib.State.Ma.US (PDF)
More Blog Posts:
NFL Players Linked to Greater Risk of Dying from Alzheimer’s, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, September 6, 2012
Worcester County Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed By Family of Dudley Boy Killed in Massachusetts Escalator Accident, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, June 10, 2012
Massachusetts Traumatic Brain Injury Victims Can Develop Emotional Processing Difficulties, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 7, 2012