Linda Carroll with NBC posits the theory that concussion-related brain injuries could be fueling the legal problems currently plaguing the NFL ("Could Brain Injuries Be Behind the NFL Rap Sheet?") Texas authorities have accused star Vikings running back Adrian Peterson of hitting his child with a switch made of a stripped tree branch. Peterson faces charges for child abuse. The Vikings played the off-again, on-again, off-again game with Peterson, but seems to have settled on suspending Peterson for the time being.
With the NFL and NCAA both facing concussion lawsuits from former players, player safety is a popular topic among football leagues, teams and coaches this year. The NFL, for example, has made new rules that many players and fans may not like: Players must wear more pads than ever before. Furthermore, running backs will face penalties for leading with their helmets. College football players will face similar changes. Players may be ejected from the game if they aim at another player's neck or head with an intent to injure the other player.
Traumatic brain injuries can have devastating consequences for victims. Each year, thousands of people suffer severe brain injuries in Los Angeles - for many of them, the residual effects of an injury will last a lifetime.
Many California parents can easily imagine an awful scenario in which a teenage son suffers a crippling brain injury on the football field. Although brain injuries can cause devastating consequences, they sometimes go undetected and untreated. As a result, some players have a false sense of security and can run the risk of even worse injuries.
Several weeks ago, we covered a bounty scheme in a California association of a youth football league. The same league is in the news again this week after coaches allowed a team of 10- to 12-year-old boys to rack up no less than five concussions in a single game. All of the injured boys were on the losing team. The other side won, 52-0.
The residual effects of mild traumatic brain injuries have received increasing scrutiny over the past few years. Perhaps in response to mounting criticism of football-related head injuries, the NFL gave a $30 million grant to the National Institute of Health this week. The money will fund a study of the long term effects of brain injuries.
Bumbo International Trust, the company that makes the Bumbo baby seat, has recalled 4 million Bumbo seats in the U.S. after dozens of reports that babies fell out of the seats, 19 of whom suffered skull fractures. The company, based in South Africa, says that parents and caregivers that own the seats can order a repair kit for free that contains a restraint belt and a sticker that warns against placing the seats anywhere but on the floor. The repair kits can be ordered online on the company's website.
Previous posts have discussed the impact that a traumatic brain injury can have on a person's life. More than 2,000 former NFL players and their wives have filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL, accusing their former employer of not doing enough to prevent repeat concussions and long-term brain injuries. The former players claim that they suffer from depression and early-onset dementia.
California athletes may be interested in the recent and ongoing news coverage about the potential for repeat concussions and brain injuries to lead to long-term cognitive damage and early-onset dementia.
The family of former NFL player Junior Seau has donated his brain to science for study following his death in California last April. The 43-year-old died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. The family would like the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to study Seau's brain to see whether his suicide may have had anything to do with deterioration in his brain from his career as a football player for the San Diego Chargers.