How Head Injuries in Sports Affect Youth Athletes

Head injuries are becoming a concern for youth who engage in sports in the United States (Pfister, Pfister, Hagel, Ghali, Ronksley). In an article by ​Orthopedics Today​, a source of orthopedic news through the perspectives of experts in the field, it is shown that there is “…a 500% to 700% increase in injuries, including those not usually seen in children. ‘Injuries we used to never see until the athletes were in the college or professional ranks … we are now seeing in kids 14, 15, and 16 years of age,’ Andrews said…When these kids are hurt at such a young age, that compounds the health issues throughout their entire lives.

.” Such injuries not usually seen in youth sports would be concussions, broken bones, and other serious injuries. It is important to treat and prevent concussions in youth, as it is harder for younger children to heal this type of injury and it could lead to problems later in life (Mukand and Serra). It is important to examine the issue of sports injuries in a scientific way to better understand how these injuries affect these athletes.

Many young athletes obtain these head injuries that can impact their whole life, even with the the use of protective equipment. Sprained ankles and getting the wind knocked out are not the only type of injuries that youth athletes can acquire, there can be very fatal or life lasting ones as well.

In an article by John Powell, a doctor in orthopedics, and Kim Barber-Foss, an athletic trainer for twenty-six years, it says, “High school students who choose to participate in sports place themselves at risk for a sports-related injury…An important area for concern is injury that may result from a rotational or linear force applied to the head and brain from a direct impact or indirect force…These forces may result in a minimal injury to the brain or may cause permanent disability or death.

Get quality help now

Proficient in: Health

4.9 (247)

“ Rhizman is absolutely amazing at what he does . I highly recommend him if you need an assignment done ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

” This means that every time a young athlete steps on the field or court, they are putting themselves at risk of a serious injury that could affect them for a long time. Head injuries can not only result in disability, but can cause health problems for athletes later in life as well. In an article published by ​Orthinfo​, a website dedicated to information about healthcare decisions, it says, “An injury to a high school athlete can be a significant disappointment for the teen, the family, and the coaches. The pressure to play can lead to decisions that may lead to additional injury with long-term effects. High school sports injuries can cause problems that require surgery as an adult…”

These injuries sustained as a result from the sports young athletes play can last a long range of time.. This makes sports related injuries to youth, because at this age they are especially susceptible to lasting damage (Johnson and Gilbert). Head injuries can also affect the athlete’s academics. In an article written by the Council on School Health, Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, and researchers Mark E. Halstead, Karen McAvoy, Cynthia D. Devore, Rebecca Carl, Michael Lee, and Kelsey Logan,it says, “Cognitive difficulties following a concussion have long been recognized and can clearly affect a student’s learning capabilities.

With recent increased attention to concussions, more focus has been placed on appropriate management for this specific injury.“ This shows that when a young athlete does get a head injury when playing a sport, it can lead to problems that affect other aspects in the athletes lives. In this instance, it is academics. In an article by Frédéric Gilbert & L. Syd M. Johnson, who are experts in neuroethics, it talks about the impact of concussions in young athletes: “Of special concern in the case of youth athletes is that their developing brains put them at increased risk for lasting neurocognitive and developmental decits that can result in behavioral disturbances and diminished academic performance (De Beaumont 2008).” This shows that with a concussion, young athletes can fall behind and could do worse in school.

In other words, a head injury can lead to the loss of academic progress after the injury, can decrease the efficiency of an athlete in school, or maybe even have the athlete held back a grade. As for what can be done to protect the play, one often cited answer is protective gear.. Injuries are getting past the equipment that are used to protect the player (David Halstead). In an article by the technical advisor of National Operating Committee of Standards in Athletic Equipment, David Halstead, it says, “From the protective equipment standpoint, this is a potential quandary. In the rotational type of injury, a helmet may be of little or no value. In fact, having the added mass of a helmet on your head may be a bad thing, depending on a variety of factors.” This shows that in some cases, the equipment could hurt the athlete more than help them. Sporting equipment has been a problem recognized by many others for a bit of time.

The problem has been recognized by people like Hosea H. Harvey, who is a doctor in health law. He writes “Despite uncertainty about the best approach to TBI reduction, many sport-specific strategies have been proposed to reduce TBIs in sports. These include changes in equipment, sports rules, or the times and locations in which sports are played.” Both Harvey and Halstead have seen a problem with the equipment in youth sports. This could mean that something needs to be changed soon in order to stop youths athletes from getting hurt. Head injuries can inmensely affect the young athlete in the present and in the future. Youths are more vulnerable to these head injuries because less force has to be applied to the head for younger players (Bakhos, Lockheart, Myers, Linakis).

Even the equipment does little to help in some cases. There needs to be changes in the rules of youth sports, the equipment that is used, or the coaching of the players so that the young athletes playing will not have to worry about anything. If there is no change in youth sports to make the players safer, thousands of athletes will have concussions or other types of traumatic brain injuries that have a chance to change their life. Every day sports are played in the United States with millions playing in them. There is a chance for a life changing moment every time a player gets on the field. There is a chance that an athlete will score the winning point and will celebrate. There is also a chance the same athlete will get a head injury which can lead to difficulties in the future.

Cite this page

How Head Injuries in Sports Affect Youth Athletes. (2022, May 04). Retrieved from

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7