Image by North Charleston Recreation Department Attorney Malcolm Crosland discusses sports safety with North Charleston football players
Children playing organized sports – some as young as 4 or 5 – are increasingly landing in emergency rooms with concussions.
Lowcountry brain injury lawyer, Malcolm Crosland Jr., of the Steinberg Law Firm, created Heads Up SC! to increase awareness of the symptoms of sports-related brain injuries. Ultimately, he hopes his message helps prevent such injuries.
Every fall and spring, Crosland meets with coaches in Mount Pleasant, Charleston and North Charleston to brief them on the warning signs of brain injury, and offer techniques for prevention.
According the Centers for Disease Control, 135,000 (65 percent) of sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) treated in U.S. emergency departments occur each year in young people ages 5 to 18. Popular youth sports, including football, basketball and soccer, generated the greatest number of emergency room visits for TBIs.
Signs and symptoms of a mild brain injury can include:
- Brief period of unconsciousness
- Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears or a bad taste in the mouth
- Mood changes
- Memory or concentration problems
Moderate to severe brain injury symptoms include:
- Persistent headache
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in the extremities
- Loss of coordination
- Increased confusion or agitation
Heads Up! provides parents and coaches with warning cards on request.
Crosland created Heads Up! after taking on a workers compensation case involving a soccer player who experienced a concussion during a game in Charleston. This concussion left him with permanent brain damage and Crosland recognized the importance of spreading awareness of the seriousness of sports-related brain injuries.