School’s finally let out, and summer vacation is in full swing here in Ohio. That means pool parties, barbeques, amusement parks and summer concerts are all back. But before you know it, you’ll see the flyer, or get an email or a text, about tryouts for the upcoming season for football. It might be the first year for your child, or maybe he (or she) has been playing for years.
Consider this our formal plea: please don’t let your kids play football this year.
We know you’ve heard the statistics. We know you’ve read the literature, or maybe seen the movie Concussion. We know you’ve attended the meetings with coaches who outline in great, possibly almost repetitive, detail the different programs that are in place to protect your child’s precious and still-forming brain. We know that you’ve raised concerns about this game that, perhaps, you yourself played for years, and that you’ve done the research and spoken with your child’s pediatrician. Your child is careful, and his (or her) coaches are concerned, and the school has invested in protective gear.
We know that brain injuries happen to other people’s children. Until they don’t.
We need to talk about the true risk
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive, degenerative brain disease that disproportionately affects people who play contact sports and activities – like football, boxing, soccer, MMA, etc. – as well as anyone else with a history of repetitive brain trauma. It can begin after one hit. It can take years to develop. It might never develop at all.
And it’s that last option – that it might never actually happen – that allows many people to assume that it will be okay. Even though the number of players who test positive for the disease falls between 87% (per PBS) and 95.6% (per CBS Sports), it’s not 100%. So there’s a chance that it won’t be your child. There’s a chance that he (or she) will be perfectly fine.
There are people who cancel backyard parties because there’s a 50% chance of rain. Yet, the chance of your child not developing CTE after years of playing football falls between 4.4% and 13%. These numbers are based off of years of methodical research by doctors and scientists: men and women who have devoted their lives to working with the brain. These are about the same odds you have of beating stage IV lung cancer (10%), and worse than the odds of surviving stage IV breast cancer (22%), at least five years after being diagnosed.
- Top NFL Exec Finally Acknowledges Link between Football and CTE
- An Open letter to Parents of High School Football Players
- This Is Your Brain on Sports
- Friday Night Lights Out: The Truth about Football and Long Term Brain Damage
- Should There Be a Legal Age Limit for Playing Football?
- College Football Players Diagnosed with CTE Confirms Warnings from Concussion Legacy Foundation
- First Extreme Sport Athlete Diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
- Despite Controversy Over CTE, Progress Is Made
- CTE Research Is Incredible, but Prevention Is the Only Sure Cure
Living with permanent brain damage
When it comes to catastrophic injuries, we know what kinds of challenges victims face; we’ve been fighting on behalf of those victims for years. And as former malpractice defense attorneys, we know what kind of fight the insurance company will put up when it comes to getting the care you need.
A traumatic brain injury can affect a victim for the rest of his or her life. CTE is caused by repetitive brain injuries, and it’s permanent: once your child is diagnosed, he or she will have that condition forever, and it will progressively get worse. The symptoms and effects, as per the Mayo Clinic, may include:
- Difficulty thinking (cognitive impairment)
- Impulsive behavior
- Depression or apathy
- Difficulties with speech
- Short-term memory loss, and eventual dementia
- Difficulty planning and carrying out tasks (executive function)
- Emotional instability, including irritability and aggression
- Motor impairment (tremors, mobility, muscle weakness, etc.)
- Inclination toward substance abuse
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
People with CTE in its advanced stages may engage in behaviors that lead to their own deaths, either willingly or unknowingly. And there is only a 4.4-13% chance that it won’t happen if your child continues to play football each year.
So this year, as every year, we ask you: Please. Don’t let your kids play football this year. The decision could very well save their lives.
Crandall & Pera Law is a premier personal injury law firm serving clients throughout Ohio and Kentucky. Please call 877.651.7764 for our Kentucky legal team, 877.686.8879 for our Ohio legal team, or fill out our contact form to learn more about our services.