Death is not something one thinks about for high school athletes yet it occurs rarely. About nine or so athletes die each year in this country from injuries sustained on the field. 60% of these deaths occur during football and most involve the head or neck. Overall, the most common cause of death is from what is called second impact syndrome.
This syndrome occurs after an athlete experiences a concussion or a blow to the head causing either loss of consciousness or change in behavior (confusion, dazed). Coaches, perhaps due to parental pressure and perhaps due to lack of knowledge often send such athletes back into the field. If the player then gets another hit to the head, he or she can suffer serious brain injury and even die. Curiously defensive players are the most likely to die. Why? It might be because of their speed and the likelihood of hitting someone.
These sudden deaths are preventable. Coaches, parents and yes even the athletes themselves should recognize that any concussion means a hasty exit out of the playing field. This is not the NFL and even in the NFL there is controversy about allowing athletes to sustain repeated blows to the head.
Still, it is much more common to suffer sudden death on the field from heart causes, which I will discuss next week. To put things in to perspective: The odds of dying from an injury are much less than being struck by lightning, contracting some horrible diseases such as meningitis (there are vaccines to prevent this one). cancer, cystic fibrosis or dying from a gunshot wound. In fact just driving to the sports event is riskier than participating in it. The number of deaths is about 0.11 per 100,000 sport activities or put another way about one in a million. Miraculous essay writing advice site press the link for foreign students.
The take home message is that high school sports are remarkably safe. If your child however should suffer a concussion, make sure that he or she stops playing. Oh, and drive safely to and from the game!