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Concussions and Brain Injuries from High School Ice Hockey

Concussions are getting more attention at all levels of contact sports, including high school.

A concussion is often described as a mild traumatic brain injury, but concussions need to be taken seriously. Not only can they result in significant brain injury, they put the brain at risk for further injury.

Ice hockey has the second highest rate of concussions of any youth sport, after football. Concussions account for more than 20% of all injuries in hockey, the highest proportion of any sport. There are many steps being taken to reduce the risk your child will suffer a concussion when participating in ice hockey, but is it enough?

Rule Changes and Enforcement to Protect against Brain Injury

This year, the National Federation of State High School Associations, which writes rules for most high school sports, changed the ice hockey rules to protect players against brain injury. The new rules say no player should make contact with an opposing player’s head or neck. This rule has been separated out from the unnecessary roughness rule, making it a more visible rule.

Your child’s high school should abide by these rules and make sure that officials are enforcing them properly.

Concussion Recognition and Treatment

It’s also important that coaches and players pay attention to the symptoms of concussion. If your child suffers a hit and reports a concussion or shows the signs of concussion, such as:

  • Appearing dazed
  • Confusion about assignment
  • Forgetting plays or formations
  • Forgets the date, game, score, or opponent or answers questions slowly
  • Skates clumsily
  • Shows behavioral changes
  • Loses memory

Your child should be taken out of the game and evaluated for a concussion by a qualified medical professional. Once a person suffers one concussion, they are at increased risk for future brain injury.

If your child suffered serious brain injury because a coach or team didn’t properly prevent or respond to a concussion, you may be able to get compensation for your child’s injury. For more information about your legal rights and options, please contact Willens & Baez in Chicago today for a free consultation.

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