According to the NHS, around 700,000 visitors per year to Accident and Emergency clinics in England and Wales are there because of a head injury of some kind. Many of these are brought to the emergency services because of sport.
Sport-related injury usually denotes muscular or ligament injury – we are always seeing famous footballers on television rolling around clutching their knee or shin. But one very common injury that is brought about by incorrectly played sport is head injuries, and as most of us know, these can have much more serious, lasting damage than any other kind. A study conducted in Toronto earlier this year revealed that nearly half of a focus group of traumatic brain injuries in children were induced by playing dangerous sports without correct training procedure or equipment. So what can we do to ensure that we are playing sports as safely as we can?
Coach: If you are playing sports that require a coach, such as football, rugby etc, you can look to your coach to learn how to prevent injuring yourself. They should be trained in preventative techniques for avoiding sport injury, and will have at the very least an EFAW (Emergency First Aid at Work) certificate. If they fail to present these documents after you have received an injury, they could be liable to prosecution. A head injury can be very dangerous, especially when received during a sport, so it’s important to get the right compensation if needs be. Have a look at our head injury claims page for more information.
Clothing: Protective clothing is an absolute must. The basics are a necessary part of any sporting uniform – from shin pads in football to shoulder pads in rugby. But as well as this, you need to make sure you’re wearing your own additional protective wear, such as knee and wrist support as needed. Have a look on About.com for more information. In terms of avoiding a head injury, you need to ensure not only that you’re wearing a helmet, but that it is in full working condition. Cycling, rugby, or hockey – it’s all the same. Inspect your helmet for dents, scratches or chips in both the hard outer shell and the inner support before playing a sport.
Ability: Make sure you are capable of achieving what you are trying to do. There’s no point playing with professional-standard athletes if you aren’t capable of keeping up. You’ll only do yourself an injury! Make sure you play sport with the correct ability for you to avoid getting hurt. As well as this, it’s important to make sure that you are feeling healthy and fit enough to play. If for whatever reason your health isn’t 100% – be it illness, existing injury or impairment such as poor eyesight – you need to be honest with yourself and hold back in order to avoid further injury. The head is one of the most important and vulnerable parts of your anatomy, so if you can avoid exposing it to danger, then do.
Sport, although rewarding, can often be extremely dangerous. From boxing to bowling to American baseball, it’s important to always take measures to avoid injuring yourself. Don’t become one of the 700,000 to arrive at Accident and Emergency – with the correct equipment, knowledge and precautionary measures you can avoid hurting yourself or others, and enjoy the game as it is meant to be – good clean fun.
If you have been involved in a sporting related injury or know someone that has, please contact us today for legal advice on the right claim for you.