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Tackle football and TBI remains a prominent concern

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2021 | Traumatic Brain Injuries |

Traumatic brain injury from an accident can cause a litany of physical, emotional and mental problems for Washington State residents who are unfortunate enough to suffer from it. Often, these occur in auto accidents, work accidents and from falls. However, certain activities can lead to head trauma and TBI. Specifically, tackle football is known as a prominent risk factor. Despite various steps to enhance safety from the youth level all the way to the National Football League, the potential for TBI will be present in a collision sport like football. Those who were not given proper warning, were misdiagnosed or were coerced into getting back on the field when they should not have and suffered from the long-range effects of TBI should be aware of their rights to consider a claim.

Football Hall of Famer and grieving mother discuss football TBI

A woman whose son committed suicide unexpectedly and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Brett Favre have spoken out about the possibility for TBI in football players. They say that precautions should be taken with younger people not playing tackle football until they are at least 14. The mother let her son play tackle football from the time he was in the sixth grade. He continued through high school. Unfortunately, after he graduated from college at 26, he killed himself. Concerned about the possibility that his brain was harmed by playing tackle football, the family donated his brain to Boston University. The school has been at the forefront in researching brain injuries from tackle football. From the young man’s brain, the researchers found he was suffering from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). The injury is common for longtime football players.

Researchers and advocates for safety have an ally in Favre. After playing in the NFL for 16 years in addition to his time on the field in college and as a youth, he is intimately aware of the risks and encourages parents not to let their children play tackle football until they reach a minimum age of 14. When starting younger – as the man who killed himself did – they can do tremendous damage to their brains over a relatively short time-period.

Technology tries to make the game safer

Innovations are being created to try and improve safety. That includes “Guardian Caps.” These are soft-shelled covers that go over the conventional helmet and add an extra layer of protection. Designed to reduce the force of collisions and thereby keep the brain safer, these additions are not yet used universally. The NFL is testing them and at least 200 colleges have players wearing these caps. Also, high schools and youth leagues have started adding them to the equipment needed to play. Despite that, people who have already suffered damage should be aware of what they might face in the future.

Recognizing potential TBI and having assistance with weighing options

The symptoms of TBI from activities and not due to an accident can rise slowly. A person who is showing unusual mood swings, having headaches, experiencing numbness in the extremities, is forgetful, has speech difficulties and shows other unexpected behaviors could have underlying brain trauma. If it happened through football or from playing another contact sport and the person was unprotected or left unaware of the jeopardy they placed themselves in, it can be the basis for a claim. This might cover medical costs, lost income and help with the uncertain future. Having advice with how to move forward with a case is a useful first step.