As kids are back in practice for fall and winter sports, a new push is underway to raise awareness of the dangerous risks to young athletes. Not only can an athlete sustain a head injury such as concussion, but they can also experience the little-understood but severe injuries to the spinal cord.
The spinal cord is a highly vulnerable area between the first and seventh vertebrae that protects the spinal cord connecting the brain to the body. The littlest move could be the wrong move that leads to paralysis or even death.
With the push to increase the awareness of the severity of these injuries comes education provided to coaches, parents and students. In other efforts, programs are pressing for more certified trainers who are qualified to quickly recognize and respond to spinal and other injuries.
20,000 spinal-cord injuries occur annually in the U.S., according to the CDC. Sports account for 12% of these cases and most cases often occur is 15- to 35-year-olds.
Previous efforts to reduce spinal injuries have been implemented but have not been used consistently. For example, the rule put into place in 1976 that discourages headfirst contact, known as spearing, isn’t followed as often as it should be.
According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, only two-thirds of the U.S. secondary schools with athletic programs have access to full- or part-time athletic trainers, who are typically licensed by the state and work under the direction of physicians.
If you or your loved one is suffering from quadriplegia, paraplegia, or any other spinal cord condition, let our spinal cord injury attorneys fight to get you the financial means you need for ongoing care.