What are the concussion risks for high school football players?
The high risk of concussions that football players face has widely been reported, particularly at the professional level. In response to growing concerns about the long-term consequences of head injuries, the National Football League has implemented new protocols when players appear to suffer concussions. Obviously, professional players assume some of the risk since the game is a dangerous contact sport; but football also poses a threat to teenagers who play at the high school level.
This was the case for a California teen, Antonio Bowman, who plays for Rancho Buena Vista and was recently hospitalized after he took a hit the head. Not only that, this was his first game back since he suffered a concussion in a prior game. This fact raises the questions as to whether he should have even been on the field. He reportedly suffered the second head injury in a game at rival Ramona, which turned out to be a blowout loss for Bowman’s team.
The injury was obviously serious since Bowman was sedated after being knocked out, and needed to undergo surgery, apparently to relieve swelling in the brain. While he appears to be on the road to recovery since regaining consciousness, he has yet been able to receive visitors.
It goes without saying that brain and head injuries are serious that can have long lasting consequences. While this teen suffered a concussion on the field, some head injuries don’t show immediate symptoms, and often surface long after the initial accident. Luckily for Bowman, he was quickly diagnosed and underwent successful surgery. Rancho Buena Vista even started a GoFundMe page to raise funds to help the family defray the medical costs.
At this juncture, it remains to be seen if the Rancho Buena Vista teen will suffer long-term consequences from this series of concussions. It is also unclear whether the hit by the Ramona player that caused the injury was legal contact. A further investigation may also reveal if Bowman had, or should have beenn given, medical clearance to play.
Given the growing awareness by the public of the perils of playing football, many parents are steering their children away from participating in this sport. At the same time, high schools in Northern and Southern California have a responsibility to protect teens who play sports from injuries. The personal injury attorneys at the J&Y law firm have extensive experience handling brain and head injury cases.