Back To School Safety Hazards Student Athletes Must Avoid

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Kids might not want to hear it, but depending on the district, school is either back in session or will be in just a few short weeks. The Bernard Law Group explains how parents can ensure their children won’t fall victim to some of the typical hazards awaiting student athletes.

One can’t imagine the feelings of a parent witnessing their child take a vicious hit or suffer a fall in the middle of a game or match only to see them not get up

The beginning of the school year once seemed far away, but parents know that the first day creeps up quickly. Summer vacation is almost at an end and grumbling students will soon be turning back to their educational institutions in droves.

But the dawn of the school year also means a return to school-sanctioned sports and all attendant injury risks. While kids may have remained active in the summer interim, most student athletes haven’t subjected themselves to the rigorous exercise afforded by daily practices and games, and they could be more susceptible to injury as a result.

The Washington personal injury lawyers of the Bernard Law Group have represented numerous students injured in the course of participating in school athletics, and they hope that parents, students, and coaches will work together to minimize the various threats that are out there. Lead attorney Kirk Bernard outlines his concerns, which are likely shared by many parents.

“Even as sports generally become safer,” said Mr. Bernard, “there are still certain risks which officials all over the world are trying to minimize. One can’t imagine the feelings of a parent witnessing their child take a vicious hit or suffer a fall in the middle of a game or match only to see them not get up. With teamwork both on and off the field, the threat of such incidents can hopefully be reduced.”

To that end, the firm has compiled a series of hazards that students, parents, and administrators should strive to avoid:

•Concussions- This topic draws far more attention than perhaps any other category, and with good reason. Unlike other injuries which make themselves known immediately and can typically be counteracted with immediate treatment, concussions don’t lend themselves to quick identification. Play moves too fast and kids may underestimate the severity of their own injuries when they occur.

An entire article could be dedicated to concussions alone, so we’ll simply point out that any child who suffers a head injury should be pulled from the game and given medical attention at once to reduce the chances of long-term effects.

•Ankle Injuries- Many schools will mistakenly have students run on surfaces not conducive to safety. Slopes and uneven surfaces are particularly dangerous when a student athlete is at speed. Instead, carefully maintained tracks and regulation fields should be used and any running path that falls outside those bounds should be thoroughly vetted for hazards.

•Specialization- An eye-opening report featured on on July 24 called “As more children specialize in a sport, doctors see more injuries” explains that forcing a child into one sport too early doesn’t allow for muscle groups to receive a balanced workout. As a result, kids are suffering injuries and submitting to rehab at younger ages than ever. The truth is that not every child is going to go pro, and parents shouldn’t push constant participation in a single sport or activity.

•Repetitive Motion- Some activities, like tennis, require the student athlete to repeat the same actions over and over again. Unfortunately, this can put excessive strain on the joints and tendons. Students should be encouraged to cease actions when mild soreness turns to severe pain.

•Cheerleading Dangers- The safety of cheerleaders is put at risk anytime they’re thrown high into the air. All it takes is one wrong move for the cheerleader who was thrust upwards to fall onto the ground instead of the arms of teammates. Such dangerous maneuvers shouldn’t be attempted.

•Overexertion Injuries- Many children will feel pressured to compete with others on the team. Unfortunately, this can prove to be dangerous, especially in a weight room setting. Parents should stress to kids that, while they should certainly compete to the best of their abilities, they shouldn’t push themselves past their physical limits. In doing, they risk strains and tears.

Hopefully, these tips can help returning students protect themselves from harm.

Kirk Bernard has been protecting the rights of injured student athletes and other Washington personal injury victims for 30 years, achieving landmark court victories and settlements in the process. The Bernard Law Group provides legal representation for those injured in bicycle collisions, workplace accidents, medical malpractice situations, defective drug incidents, product liability cases, and more. Persons interested in a free consultation can click this link to learn more about the firm and the people behind it.

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Megan Castello
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