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Illinois may pass law to prevent football head injuries

In 2011, the Illinois General Assembly passed a bill that requires student athletes be removed from play if they show concussion-related symptoms. A player would have to be cleared by a licensed doctor before returning to the game.

This is a good step in protecting student athletes from brain injuries but some believe it doesn't go far enough. Many of the knocks to the head that cause brain injuries are sustained during practice, not games. One Illinois lawmaker wants to introduce a bill that would limit teams to one full-contact practice per week.

A recent study showed that youth football players are hit on the head about 100 times per year and high school players encounter a staggering 700 hits per year. By the time a football player graduates from high school, he may have suffered 8,000 blows to the head.

However, coaches and some parents believe that is untenable. In order to fully grasp the game and get sufficient practice, they argue, students need more than one full practice session each week.

A traumatic brain injury such as those sustained by football players can have effects that range in severity. A victim of a brain injury may suffer from headaches for a few days or see lasting changes in their brain function, appetite, mood or balance. This can affect a person's cognition and development.

If you or someone you love have suffered a head injury as a result of someone else's negligence or misconduct, you may have a claim for damages to compensate you for your injuries and associated expenses. It may be wise to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you review your case and pursue any appropriate legal claims.

Source: The Mundelein Review, "Proposed bill aims to curb football head injuries in Illinois," Rick Kambic, Jan. 31, 2013

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