There is no shortage of information about concussions out there, but not all are accurate. Sports-related brain injuries are prevalent, and it is crucial for coaches, parents and others involved in sports in Ontario to separate myths from facts. Negligence by administrators could have legal consequences.
A concussion results from the rapid movement or shaking of the brain, causing it to smash into the inside walls of the skull. This can happen by a whiplash movement of the head, even if there is no direct impact. It is also not true that only contact sports can cause concussions. Even gymnastics, dance, skiing and other non-contact activities pose brain-injury risks. Furthermore, some say that all cases of concussions involve loss of consciousness. This is also a myth, as only about 10 per cent of concussion victims lose consciousness.
Contrary to popular belief, protective equipment such as helmets and mouth guards cannot prevent concussions. A helmet can prevent skull fractures or penetration wounds, and mouth guards can prevent dental or oral injuries. However, neither can prevent the brain from moving within the skull. Furthermore, the idea that rest is essential for concussion recovery has been disproved, and new research determined that the victim should be encouraged to become progressively active again after 24 to 48 hours of rest.
Ontario parents whose children suffered brain injuries or concussion due to negligent coaching or supervision during sports activities or at school might have grounds to seek recovery of damages. Medical treatment and therapy can bring unanticipated financial hardship, and it might be wise to discuss the issue with an experienced personal injury lawyer. If there is a viable claim, the lawyer can provide the necessary support and guidance in pursuit of financial relief.