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Football and Traumatic Brain Injury|
Football players face more than the opposing team when they hit the field. They face even greater obstacles including bruises, the possibility of broken limbs and worse – traumatic brain injury (TBI).
TBI is defined by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. The severity of a TBI can range from mild to severe and can result in short or long-term problems with independent function.
Every year, thousands of children die as a result of an injury and thousands more are left with a permanent disability. Football injuries associated with the brain occur at a rate of one in every three and a half games. The BIAA reports that football is responsible for more than 250,000 head injuries in the United States. In any given season 20 percent of all high school players sustain brain injuries.
Simple safety precautions such as wearing a helmet can help prevent brain injuries on the football field. Football players are required to wear helmets during the game, but they are not necessarily required to wear them during practice. Helmets should be worn at all times on the practice and football fields.
Brain injuries cause more deaths than any other sports injury. In football, brain injury accounts for 65 to 85 percent of all fatalities. Each year more than 150,000 football players under the age of 15 seek treatment for injuries at hospital emergency rooms. Help avoid injury while playing football. Follow these safety tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Centers for Disease Control: