The recent $3 million settlement between Lafayette County C-1 School District and the Frith family stemming from brain injuries suffered by their son Zach highlights the need for education about concussions (3/22, A-1, “Teen’s football injury reshapes future, family; Zach Frith was allowed to keep practicing after a concussion. Now he suffers permanent brain damage”). A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). It cannot be trivialized as a ding. Understanding this is the beginning of long-overdue serious discussions of this common injury.
MTBI is characterized by alterations in brain chemistry that often cause headache, dizziness and difficulty concentrating with potential long-term effects. Athletes must not play at all until fully recovered. Otherwise, they risk permanent brain damage or death from a second, even mild, impact.
If there had been greater understanding of the consequences of MTBI, Zach’s outcome most certainly would have been different. Education is the key. MTBI education for coaches and athletes should be mandatory.
We applaud Zach and his family for their courage in coming forward with their story.
David D. Dyck Jr., D.O.
Lori A. Boyajian-O’Neill, D.O.
Center for Concussion Management, Mid America Sports Medicine and Wellness at Centerpoint
How sad that a child’s future is jeopardized by continuing to play football before recovering from concussion. But where is the wisdom in giving this child a Cadillac “because he’s suffered so much?”
This is a child with no impulse control. He may be good at the mechanical aspects of driving, but he puts his fist through the living room wall, assaults his father and rages so violently that his parents lock their other children in their bedrooms for safety. His response to people who “piss (him) off” is, “Well, I’ll fight them, dude.”
Giving this child a two-ton automobile is as irresponsible as his returning to football practice. Both decisions are heedless of the consequences. What if this child becomes enraged and, instead of hitting the wall, jumps in his Caddie? What if someone cuts him off on the highway?
Please. We already have one sadly and irreparably damaged child. Where is the sense in allowing this child to act out his rage with a large automobile and damage other mothers’ sons and daughters?