Bonnie Raitt with the song from “Dumbo”:
She’s the closest thing I ever had to a role model.
This is just plain crazy. To allow these kids to play again is like playing Russian roulette. The article doesn’t mention that the effect of concussions is cumulative – you don’t “bounce back.” The parents who allow them to play again are crazy, and so are the schools for assuming that liability:
Outwardly, they seem like any other teens, wearing tight, low-rise jeans, black eyeliner, and fluorescent nail polish. But at an age when most kids are obsessing over the newest Twilight movie or who’s going to the prom, Casey and her friends commiserate about migraines, memory loss, and problems keeping up in school. They can’t tolerate the lights and noise of amusement parks, dances, or movies.
“It’s overwhelming. An entire life changed,” said Allison Kasacavage, a freshman at Downingtown East High School, sounding wearier than most 15-year-olds. She said she had suffered five concussions, three from soccer, starting at age 12.
After getting elbowed in the head, knocked unconscious, and taking too many headers and colliding with another girl in three separate games over 18 months, “I knew I was done with soccer,” she said. “I couldn’t go back.”
The issue of chronic head injuries for big-name, highly paid pro football and hockey players has been in the headlines recently, punctuated by worries of a link to this month’s suicide of former NFL superstar Junior Seau. But what several experts have described as a public-health crisis among young female athletes has been flying under the radar.
According to a study of high school soccer players in the Journal of Athletic Training, girls sustained reported concussions 68 percent more often than boys did. Girls soccer trailed only football when it came to the total number of concussions among young athletes, according to the American Journal of Sports Medicine.
As experts labor to understand the reasons for this, they are alarmed at what they see as lax or inadequate rules and poor judgment in letting girls like Casey and her friends back on the field so soon after a serious head injury.
“It was shocking in this day and age to see that kids are playing with overt symptoms after multiple concussions and recent blows to the head,” said Philip Schatz, a professor at St. Joseph’s University and an expert in head injuries who learned of the cluster of cases in Downingtown after it was reported last week on NBC’s Rock Center With Brian Williams.
Schatz noted that most school soccer programs have concussion protocols that require athletes to leave a game, take off a week or longer, and get an independent medical evaluation. Thirty-three states, including New Jersey, have laws mandating concussion education for coaches, but that doesn’t always apply to travel and rec programs.
“If you were talking about adults and mild heart attacks, only one would require a complete change in lifestyle,” Schatz said. “Here we are subjecting our children to multiple traumatic brain injuries and not changing their behavior.”
Sara Robinson of Alternet had a good idea for a Mothers Day column, but she got carried away and ended up arguing that the Randian conservatism is, more than anything else, anti-feminist. More here.
Donald “Duck” Dunn, 70, legendary bass player, dies in his sleep after finishing two sets at a club in Tokyo. He was a seminal part of the Stax Records’ Memphis sound, playing bass on Otis Redding’s “Respect,” Sam & Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Coming” and Albert King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign.” (You may know him best from the movie “The Blues Brothers.”)
From the novel Treasure of the Sierra Madre, by B. Traven:
Anyone who is willing to work and is serious about it will certainly find a job. Only you must not go to the man who tells you this, for he has no job to offer and doesn’t know anyone who knows of a vacancy. This is exactly the reason why he gives you such generous advice, out of brotherly love, and to demonstrate how little he knows the world.
I still remember the first time I looked into my kids’ eyes. The Ronettes: