Youth Sports Injury Attorney in Phoenix, AZ
Long Term Affects of a Youth Sports Injury
Kids are becoming interested in sports from increasingly younger ages. In fact, they are even becoming focused on one sport of involvement from younger ages. Parents work to groom their child for lifetime success through competitive sports training. Using sports, parents hope for their kids to be positively socialized, self-disciplined and on track for competitive college scholarships or the “holy grail” of a professional sports career.
But this early involvement in sports often affects children in negative ways. Many kids burn out while still young. Others suffer serious injuries that plague them for the rest of their lives. When kids are seriously injured while playing school or organized sports, it is important to talk to an experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyer with the Cantor Team who understands youth sports injury cases.
If your child has been injured while playing sports, speak with an injury lawyer today.
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Past generations of kids played sports. Kids today train more like collegiate, pro or Olympian athletes. Kids specialize in one sport or a few with alternating seasons. They are pushed very hard within their extracurricular activities, often participating in highly competitive structured events from very young ages.
Many kids also play sports throughout the year, not just for one or two seasons like kids of the past. Baseball players are no longer the “boys of summer.” Now, they are trained for baseball for summer, then maybe football, basketball or track for the rest of the year. This is true of most sports, where kids who participate in that activity likely cross-train in other sports at the same time. Without rest and rebuilding, muscles, bones and other tissues are strained and challenged throughout each year. Because these youths’ bodies are always being challenged, they are more prone to injury than children of other generations.
A review of emergency department visits by Safe Kids Worldwide examined children’s sports injuries. Results showed that a child goes into an E.R. every 25 seconds for sports injury in the United States. This makes over one million children’s visits to the emergency department each year.
Facts of Youth Sports Injuries
Facts of youth sports injuries include:
- 35 million kids were injured while playing sports in 2012, visiting emergency departments for care
- Every three minutes an American emergency department receives an injured child with a sports-related concussion
- More concussions are experienced by athletes aged 12 to 15 years than any other age group, with 47 percent of youths in this age group suffering a concussion
- For every 10,000 children playing youth football each year, 40 concussions are experienced
- 15 concussions occur per 10,000 young people taking part in wrestling, the second most dangerous sport next to football
- The third most dangerous sport for causing concussions is cheerleading, with 12 concussions per 10,000 participants
- One third of all injuries suffered by young ice hockey players are concussions
- Of non-concussion injuries, the most commonly occurring ones seen in emergency departments due to sports occurrence are ankle, head, finger, knee and face injuries, in that order
Youth Sports Injuries Are Severe
When kids are injured in sports, trips to the emergency department are common. Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law research has found that more than 1.35 million children suffered severe injuries in 2012 as part of participation in sports. The top injuries doctors see from youth sports activities include:
USA Today and Safe Kids Worldwide produced an article reporting that youth sports injuries cost the American economy $935 million each year, due to healthcare expenses. Kids who are pushed into sports from a very young age also suffer other health problems. These include:
- Physical injuries
- Sleep problems
- Chronic pain
Organized Team Sports Cause Many Injuries
Youth are often injured in organized team sports, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). This system reported in 2011 that of the almost 47 million young people playing 14 major sports, 12 percent of these children suffered concussions. Half of the concussion patients were aged 12 to 15. This equates to 77,000 young people suffering head injury due to participation in soccer, basketball, cheerleading, football, hockey, baseball and other sports.
What Is Overuse Sports Injury?
Among children aged five to 14 years, about 40 percent of emergency department visits were due to sports related injuries. Many of these injuries occur due to sport overexposure. Overexposure is playing one sport for prolonged periods or multiple sports within one timeframe. Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law know that when children do not take breaks between seasons of sports or play too many sports at once, their bodies break down through overuse injuries.
Overuse injuries are more common today than ever before. This is because parents and coaches are pushing children to achieve greater heights in competitive activities. Due to the strenuous training of these activities and lack of rest periods or seasons “off” from training, youth are prone to experience repetitive injuries once only seen in adult athletes or hard laborers.
Even worse, children’s bodies are not fully developed. So the injuries are causing greater damage than they do for adult bodies, affecting the young peoples’ future mobility and functioning. Children experience long bone growth-plate injuries in arms and legs due to overuse, with 15 percent of youth sports injuries being of this nature and affecting these important structures.
Girls Suffer Youth Sports Injury More Often
Surprisingly, girls experience more concussions than boys. This data is according to the NEISS by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Among basketball players, young females suffer concussions in 11.5 percent of players. Only 7.2 percent of male players in the same sport suffer concussions. The same occurs in soccer, with 17.1 percent of female players suffering concussions and only 12.4 percent of male players suffering the same emergency department diagnoses.
Who Is to Blame for Youth Sports Injuries?
The Cantor Team knows that parents are often blamed for their children’s sports injuries. This is because parents are responsible for their child’s well-being. But there are other parties who may push children in sports too hard or cause sports injuries. Good examples include coaches, schools, sports leagues or even protective equipment manufacturers. Many coaches experience immense stress over their job being reliant upon a number of “wins.” This results in young athletes being pushed too hard for too long, often without parents even realizing what is going on. Youth can be exploited through sports programs and this exploitation often results in the young people being injured.
Little League Baseball is very aware that young people are vulnerable to overuse on their own league teams. The LLB commission took steps in 2007 to end youth athlete overuse. The commission mandated a maximum number of pitches one child can throw in a set timeframe, to ensure reduction in elbow and shoulder injuries. While this shows how the LLB commission is aware of sports-related injury problems for young athletes, this is a difficult rule to enforce. Each team’s coach or staff are independently managing team activities without constant oversight by the league.
If your child or adolescent has experienced youth sports-related injuries, their future in sports and even daily activity may be affected. When negligence is involved in these injuries, a claim for medical expenses and other damages may be justified. Speak with a Phoenix sports injury attorney at Cantor Injury Lawyers today at 602-254-2701 for a free, no-obligation consultation for your youth sports-related injury claim.