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Who can be blamed for a child hockey player's brain injuries?

Some Ontario parents who loved playing hockey when they were children say they hesitate to introduce their young children to the sport now. So much more information about the risks and consequences of concussions and brain injuries is available now, creating more awareness and concern. Fortunately, many sources provide detailed information on recent studies of these injuries along with suggestions to prevent them and explanations of the most effective treatment.

One thing on which professionals in the field agree is that young hockey players are exceptionally vulnerable. Numerous Canadian professional hockey players and even superstars have suffered the effects of repeated concussions that can cut short their careers or even their lives. Repeated brain injury and multiple concussions can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a neurodegenerative disease.

Following many discussions and research, organizers of the sport have introduced several changes to the hockey rules which include new policies regarding the decision to allow a player to return to play. Concussion-education programs offer coaches and their staff more knowledge, and new protective sporting equipment is being developed. Researchers conduct genetic testing to identify those children who are at risk, and apps and blood tests are introduced to diagnose concussions.

While all this is going on, Ontario children continue to suffer brain injuries while playing hockey. Parents leave their children in the care of schools and sports coaches and expect them to come home unharmed. Any parent who suspects that his or her child might have suffered brain injuries due to the negligence of a coach or another person in a supervising capacity at the school or sports facility might have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit in a civil court. An experienced personal injury lawyer is the best choice to tackle the challenging task of establishing negligence. If a case is navigated successfully, a monetary judgment to cover documented financial and other losses might be awarded.

Source: The Globe and Mail, "When it comes to brain injuries, how dangerous is youth hockey?", Wency Leung, Accessed on Nov. 3, 2017

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