First, let me say that injuries can occur at any age, and in any sport. I am focusing on Youth Sports, however; because, the Kids tend to mimic the professional athletes who, in most cases, should know better. But, it’s a given that, as long as the pros get paid Millions of Dollars, they will go all out, and the Kids will always do the same things.
Head Injuries especially have come to the public’s attention. There have been a number of professional (American) football players who have committed suicide, due to depression and other illnesses; however, Head Injuries are common in Hockey, as well as other sports.
Adults who play sports are generally doing it for the fun, exercise and camaraderie, and are generally not trying to head butt, spear, slice, hook, etc. Besides, many of the older athletes already have their aches and pains, and are not even running or skating at full speed. But, with the Kids, they try to play just the way their heroes do.
The linked article, from the NY Times, points-out some of the warnings that Schutt Sports actually places on football helmets, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/05/sports/football/warning-labels-on-helmets-combat-injury-and-liability.html?hp. (I didn’t use the more concise “Print” link, so that the warning would show.) Schutts tries to provide enough information and warnings as it believes is necessary, without scaring potential customers away. Most customers don’t read the Disclosures anyway.
Equally important, I believe, is what the visitors to the Shutts Sports site see when they visit. If you click on Football Helmets, you are immediately asked to record your name and, then, are directed to a familiarization course, http://www.schuttsports.com/.
Personally, I believe that part of the problem can be related to: Coaching to win at all costs, and over-exuberant Parents. I have seen coaches push their little leaguers to score more runs, during the ninth inning, on extremely hot summer afternoon, when their team was already ahead by eight runs. Likewise, there was a melee after a recent soccer game, in Orlando, with both teams and their parents involved. Way too much!
The reason for Youth Sports, I believe, needs to be changed. The Kids know if they did their best or tried their hardest; however, their intent should never be to totally discourage the other Kids, and their Team. Teamwork, learning the game, exercise and–MOST IMPORTANTLY–having fun should be the reason to play the game.