Amick Robert (amick@SPOT.COLORADO.EDU)
Thu, 22 Aug 1996 13:29:34 -0600
A recent article presented a study in which evidence has shown that soccer
players who use their heads to propel a soccer ball are at risk for brain
damage. While each episode is not in and of itself serious, the
cumulative effect of such impacts can result in the same effects as those
suffered by boxers and over a period of time may result in such maladies
as Parkinson's disease or other dysfunctions. It is not always possible
to "do it right" each time when actively engaged in playing soccer, to
avoid the possibility of a head injury, so
the use of protective headgear should certainly be considered.
In Scouting, the use of protective headgear is required for any sport or
activity such as cycling, rock climbing etc., in which there is a risk of
head injury. In contact sports such as football, even helmets do not fully
protect from brain injury, but merely lessen the potential for serious or
life threatening initial injury which would occur without them.
This obviously may not set well with those who play and enjoy the sport
of Soccer, but the importance of protecting players, especially youth from
cumulative injury should not be overlooked. It is appalling how certain
groups resist and oppose the use of protective headgear (e.g.
motorcyclists) yet have no concern over the tragic loss of life, or
permanent disabling injuries that result when headgear is not worn.
Moreover, they seem less concerned about the staggering cost of
long term rehabilitation and medical care incurred by someone who suffers
brain damage from an accident in which a helmet might have prevented
serious injury. Through our taxes and insurance premiums, we all get to
help pay the cost of the ignorance or arrogance which precluded
the use of protective head gear and it is not cheap. One brain-injured
patient can consume nearly $1 million in medical and support costs over a
lifetime which often is not long, and certainly not pleasant.
You only get one brain and unlike other body parts it cannot be
"repaired" or "replaced" so treating it well and protecting
it from injury certainly makes good sense.
Bob Amick, EMT-B, Explorer Advisor, High Adventure Explorer Post 72,
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City