There are over 35 million children participating in organized sports programs throughout the United States. This is why sports injuries are the second leading cause of emergency room visits for children and adolescents, and the second leading cause of injuries in school. Approximately three million youth are seen in hospital emergency rooms for sports-related injuries and another five million youth are seen by their primary care physician or a sports medicine clinic for injuries every year.
A study released last year by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which focused on young athletes aged 5-to-21 years, found that concussion rates were higher among high school athletes than college athletes in certain sports, including football, men’s lacrosse, soccer and baseball.
While many of these injuries are covered under some form of health insurance, there should be some cause for alarm. Your personal liability may be increasing as youth sports get more competitive.
Personal Liabilty Risks
With increases in the severity of head injuries, growth plate injuries, and heat-related injuries, coaches, volunteers and others are becoming subject to litigation to cover ongoing medical treatment.
Here Are A Few Actions to Help Reduce Your Personal Risk
- Enroll your child in organized sports through schools, community clubs, and recreation areas that are properly managed.
- Consider buying an accident policy if your health insurance is limited.
- If you are a coach, call us to make sure your personal liability is covered.
- Ask if the programs have certified trainers at each event.
- Have your child get an annual physical, even if it is not required.
- Make sure your child has, and uses, proper equipment designed for a particular sport.
- Consider a personal umbrella policy if you are active in youth sports leadership.
- Make sure your child has access to water or a sports drink while playing.