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Injuries And Concussions In Athletics Essay

1998 words - 8 pages

Millions of passionate fans in America follow the sport of football, a game that can simply be described as a collision sport that all too often becomes genuinely violent. Due to its violent nature, the physical collisions that occur between players have always been regarded as just part of the game. That is until a few years ago when Langlois, Rutland-Brown, & Wald (2006) found that nearly 3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur each year in the United States, with children and teens being at the highest risk. As of recently, legislative and policy efforts at the state and local levels aimed at preventing, recognizing, and managing concussions have been inconsistent. Ultimately, this lack of consistency could result in a reduction of the quality care and access that student athletes should receive.
As of January 2014, lawmakers in each state have lined up behind parents and their players in an effort to make the game safer. All 50 state as well as Washington, D.C., have enacted laws aimed at protecting student-athletes from returning to the field too quickly after being concussed. In the course of a regular game of football, players typically undergo multiple collisions involving their heads. The exact number and severity of these collisions varies on playing position and other factors, but concussion is seemingly always a risk. As the concern for safety in contact sports has grown, along with the increased attention from the media, government and public, the National Football League (NFL) has continued to be at the forefront in addressing the concerns over the concussion issue in professional athletes. After Pellman et al. (2006) found there to be statistically significant increase in the risk of neurological disorders in professional football players, the NFL responded with a plan to make the game safer through a multifaceted approach. This approach included rule changes both on and off the field, as well as the appointment of a new scientific advisory committee to study the neurological issues associated with concussion in NFL athletes. Seeing as how there is yet to be any sort of federal policy legislated regarding concussion prevention, recognition, and management, dependence on the NFL is at an all-time high. The NFL, although clearly not the only sport to be associated with players experiencing concussions, has historically been the so-called ‘candle-holders’ in the sports-related concussion frenzy. In addition to the NFL, the CDC has spent much effort during the past decade towards educating young-athletes on how to lessen the risks of concussions stemming from sport-related head injuries. While the current state policies do show some promise, more research is needed to assess whether these strategies aimed at protecting children and teens from concussions and educating coaches and parents about the symptoms and side-effects of concussions prove effective.
Today’s state and local policies concerning concussion...

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