High school football is being put under the magnifying glass, especially in Hawaii, out of concerns that it might be a leading cause of teenage head injuries. In particular, studies and research are being conducted to link football to concussions in hopes to develop better ways to prevent such injuries.
The University of Hawaii (UH) carried out its own study recently that looked at reports of head injuries from several high schools around the state. According to the information gathered by the researchers, in the fall season alone, 613 Hawaiian high schoolers suffered some sort of head injury, and just over 50% of those were in part of a football team. This data suggests that if high school football required stricter safety measures or was suspended altogether, a dramatic drop in youth brain injuries would occur.
A report from KHON2 looked further into the UH study data, which sorted the number of injuries per school. Mililani reported the most head injuries within the 3-month study period, coming in at 41. Other schools – like Kaiser – only reported 3. The investigative team atKHON2 wanted to know why there was such a noticeable disparity between the top and the bottom of the list.
One clear explanation was the number of high schoolers per school on a football team. Mililani is one of the larger high schools in Hawaii and, thus, has more football players per capita than many other schools. If this reasoning stands up to further studies, it would suggest that head injuries are essentially an integrated part of high school football, something that cannot be avoided entirely due to the nature of the sport itself.
However, some believe the smaller numbers in the data set could be caused by missing reports. Students that do not want to be removed from the team might choose to not speak up about head injury symptoms, such as chronic headaches or insomnia. Another scenario would be high schools intentionally keeping head injury reports private and out of researcher hands. This is, of course, unverified but certainly a possibility. Overall, it would appear that head injuries suffered by high schoolers is problem that is bigger than anyone thought.
Our Honolulu personal injury attorneys at Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner have been serving the people of Hawaii since 1971. Throughout this time, we have built a strong reputation as a compassionate and knowledgeable law firm that can get real results for our clients. If your child has been hurt while playing high school football, let us know during a free case evaluation and we can let you know if you have a valid claim to pursue compensation.