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Minor head injures could be serious business

For child and teen athletes, minor injuries are pretty much par for the course. Kids might come home from the latest tournament or practice with scrapes and bruises, especially in fuller contact sports such as football or soccer. While such injuries are common among young athletes, parents should be aware of signs related to more serious injuries.

Some of the scariest injuries young athletes face are those involving head trauma. Head injuries are frightening both because they can be so damaging to a person, and because it can be difficult to tell when a minor bump becomes a serious concussion or brain injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that parents, players and coaches should always be aware of head contact and bumps and watch for warning signs that a serious injury has occurred.

The CDC recommends going to an emergency room if serious warning signs are observed. Some of those signs include drowsiness or trouble awaking the child or noticing that one pupil is bigger than the other. Worsening headaches, numbness, coordination problems, severe nausea or vomiting and slurred speech are also signs. Other warning signs could include seizures, unusual behavior and problems with concentration or memory.

If parents or coaches think a player has experienced a head injury with concussion, the CDC says medical attention should be sought immediately. Kids should also be kept out of game play if a head injury is possible, as repeated bumps to the head can increase the chance of traumatic brain injury.

When children are injured during recreational activities, including sports, cruise activities, amusement park rides or boating, parents might be able to seek compensation for expenses and losses related to the injury. Seeking professional assistance in evaluating possible liability is a first step in seeking compensation.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Concussion Fact Sheet for Parents," accessed Aug. 13, 2015

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