A new study was released this week at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Washington, D.C., entitled “I Can’t Miss the Big Game: High School (HS) Football Players’ Knowledge and Attitudes about Concussions.“
It’s an important piece of research because it reveals the dedication of high school football players to their team, their school, and their sport — and it shows the need for coaches, staff, and others supervising high school sports to understand that there is a great need to protect these young players from traumatic brain injuries sustained while playing or practicing high school football.
Bottom line, the news here is that kids will keep playing football despite a real danger of serious head injury – and therefore, the duty on others to protect these players from themselves is greater than may have been previously understood.
From the news release accompanying the report this week:
“These attitudes could leave young athletes vulnerable to injury from sports-related concussions,” said study co-author Brit Anderson, MD, pediatric emergency medicine fellow at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
“Despite their knowledge, many athletes in our sample reported that they would not tell their coach about symptoms and would continue to play,” Dr. Anderson said. “A small percentage even responded that athletes have a responsibility to play in important games with a concussion.”
Schoolteachers, team coaches, school staff: all those connected with high school football, both private and public, have a duty to protect those students during practice and while playing games on the football field. This report underscores the legal duty that these adults have to protect these children from injury — with this new research, something that many parents know about teenagers comes clear: the teenager may be in need of protection – not just from externalities but from themselves, too.