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Articles Tagged with sports injuries

Darcy at football game 1.jpgCheerleading has long been a popular sport for girls, with football games and cheerleading being a Friday night staple in this country. Recently, a lot of focus has been put on the dangers of concussions in football, but very little attention has been paid to the concussion dangers involved with cheerleading. And that may be putting our children in danger.

Today’s cheerleading is very different from that traditional image of sideline cheering on a Friday night under the lights. As competitive cheer grows in popularity, it is changing the face of the sport. More and more, cheerleading is becoming a serious athletic sport, combining expert level gymnastics, dance, high-flying jumps, and technically difficult stunting and basket tosses. And that is making cheerleading more dangerous.

Just how Dangerous is Cheerleading?

football-1291426_1920.jpgLast week, in a surprising but welcome move, Naperville’s School District 203 announced that beginning next year, the middle school tackle football program will be replaced with flag football. Naperville’s School District 204 made a similar decision earlier in April. The announcements came after several seasons of decreasing participation in the sport and growing parental concern about their children’s safety, particularly with regard to concussions.

The personal injury lawyers at The Collins Law Firm applaud this decision. For a while now, we have been following the discussions surrounding football and the emerging studies on the long-term health effects of sustaining concussions, and we feel that it is time to take action to protect children.

Moved by a similar concern for children’s safety, Illinois state representative Carol Sente proposed the Dave Duerson Act in January of this year. Under her bill, children under 12 would be barred from playing tackle football. The bill is named for former Bears standout, Dave Duerson, who was diagnosed before his death with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma.

As of this weekend, high schools across the state will be required to get catastrophic health insurance for their sports players. Known as the “Rocky Clark Law” (named for the Eisenhower High School player paralyzed from an injury in 2000) the law will require that every student-athlete be covered for millions of dollars for healthcare stemming from catastrophic personal injuries. The law is expected to be signed in by the Illinois Governor later this weekend. Many school districts already require, or provide, large health insurance for student-athletes. While this long can go a long way towards helping injured young people and their families deal with a tragedy after it happens, more important are efforts to avoid tragedies, and prevent injuries, before they happen. That is where programs to educate student-athletes come in. As part of USA Football’s “Heads Up” program, student-athletes, in one of the most violent contact sports played, are being taught how to play the game safer. It is all part of an initiative to make sports safer, and avoid serious personal injuries such as concussions from occurring in young people nationwide. A copy of Rock Clark’s Law can be found by clicking here.

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