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Florida Teen Athlete Killed by Stray Baseball

June 5, 2012
Colson Hicks Eidson

A straight-A student and member of the ROTC program at Ribault High School in Jacksonville, Florida, died in an accident on October 2011 while at baseball practice. As reported at foxsportsflorida.com, the 17-year-old was hit in the head by a baseball from a teammate’s line drive that bounced off the metal batting screen. Rescue workers rushed him to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his head injuries three days later.
Head trauma and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are common in high school athletes. Young athletes do not have fully developed brain tissue and this factor makes them more susceptible to permanent and severe head injuries in sports. When not fatal, these types of head injuries can lead to permanent damage for their young victims. The long-term expenses can also lead to financial difficulties for parents. Protective helmets are not always a sure protection, as some injuries can be closed head injuries.
At the time of the accident, the victim was pitching behind the protective screen.
Short of not participating in sports, is there any way to protect young athletes from tragedies like this one?