As Autumn settles in across the New York area, temperatures are turning colder. People are getting their furnaces inspected and packing in firewood, preparing for even more significant dips to come. Snow and sleet are on their way, and it is a good idea to be prepared for the worst.
Sports coaches should also be prepared for the changes in weather. Research published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that concussion risks in particular are elevated in cold weather, with the risk of suffering a brain injury doubled in temperatures below fifty degrees. The cause of the increased risk is undetermined, but for years football players at all levels have complained that cold fields are harder to land on.
Football is a Fall and Winter sport, and it is played outside, where players are subject to the elements. Coaches should be aware of the increased concussion risk, and should be even more careful when evaluating players who might have suffered a head injury. Concussion protocols should always be followed, but coaches should also be aware that any time a player is tackled and their head seems to hit the turf, the injury risk is greater in lower temperatures.
Cold weather may also help mask certain injuries, as significant chill can act similar to ice, numbing nerve endings and hiding the degree of pain associated with sprains and similar injuries, as well as contributed to decreased swelling. Cold weather may also play a role in making it more difficult to manipulate joints to test for breaks and tears.
If your child has been injured while participating in a sport, determining whether or not the school or other organization properly considered safety risks is important. Please, consider consulting with an experienced attorney regarding your case. A qualified lawyer can guide you through the process of getting the answers you need to be sure proper protocols were followed.