NFL linebacker Junior Seau’s suicide sparked a nationwide investigation into the connection between traumatic brain injuries and depression. Many studies have provided strong evidence in favor of such a connection. Recently, parents have voiced concerns about their young athletes: could they wind up in the same position as Seau, frought with depression after a career of concussions?
One study examined high school football players in Milwaukee. The study found that 15 percent sustained concussions during football games. Alarmingly, only 47 percent of those reported their injuries. More than half of them did not think that their injuries were serious enough to tell their coaches about. This lines up with the football mentality recently decried in media outlets: get back on the field and power through the pain.
Young people with concussions are more likely to face long-term consequences than older athletes, according to researcher Dr. Lisa L. Bakhos. Bakhos found that children aged 8-13 made up 40 percent of all sports concussion-related emergency room visits.
“[Y]ou are essentially damaging a developing brain,” Bakhos said.
These findings present parents with a troubling choice. Children and teenagers can benefit strongly from athletics programs, but as many parents are now asking themselves, at what cost? Too many teenagers already suffer from depression, which often goes hand in hand with drug and alcohol use. Combine that risk with these recent athletic findings and you have a valid cause for concern.
Has your child sustained a traumatic brain injury related to a sports injury? If so, contact the Law Office of Stanley A. Davis today for a free consultation. Stan Davis focuses his practice on TBIs, including those resulting from car or truck accidents.
“The righteous who walks in his integrity – blessed are his children after him!” – Proverbs 20:20
The Law Office of Stanley A. Davis – Nashville injury attorney