Popular summertime sports and activities put kids at a higher risk for traumatic brain injuries, attorneys in Jacksonville say. Swimming, biking, skateboarding, tree climbing – all are favorite pastimes of kids and teens throughout the summer and on warm weekends in Northeast Florida. But such activities also boost the risk of traumatic brain injury, attorneys in Jacksonville say. Statistics consistently hold that head injuries in youth and teens are more likely to occur during the warm spring and summer months and on weekends when kids are out of school and most active outdoors. More commonly known as TBI, traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of disability in children and adolescents across the United States. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Children age four and younger, and teens between the ages of 15 to 19 are most at risk for TBI;
- Nearly 564,000 children are treated for brain injuries of varying degrees in emergency rooms nationwide each year;
- Of those victims, nearly 474,000 are 14 years old or younger suffering TBI;
- TBI rates are an average 59 percent higher for males than for females in every age group;
- Male children four and younger have the highest rate of TBI-related ER visits, hospitalizations and deaths;
- 75 percent of TBIs are concussions. These can cause headaches, bruised optic nerves and double vision and can greatly interfere with sleeping;
- Children who visit the ER for treatment of head injuries are twice as likely to experience a second head injury as a child who has never sustained one;
- TBI contributes to a third of all injury-related deaths in the U.S.;
- Falls are the leading cause of and account for more than half of serious head injuries in children up to 14 years old. Collisions with stationary objects follow closely.
While it may be tempting to keep your kids behind lock and key, there’s no need, so long as you take certain safety precautions. Make sure your children wear correctly fitted shoes while playing, and insist upon helmets during contact sports like baseball or football, and while skateboarding or biking. For young children, choose playgrounds with surfaces of mulch, sand or other shock-absorbing material rather than concrete. Check to make sure playground equipment is sturdy and in good condition, and that elevated surfaces, such as platforms and ramps, have guardrails to prevent falls. Swimming pools are top summertime destinations. Instruct kids to walk, not run on or near potentially slippery surfaces and keep paths clear of slipping and tripping hazards like spilled liquids, toys and sports equipment. If your child suffers a traumatic brain injury, lawyers with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell can help you secure fair and just compensation for treatment and losses. Call 800-251-1111 to speak with an attorney serving Jacksonville, Orlando and South Georgia victims.