Emergency room visits for head injuries among youth athletes has surged by over 60% in the last nine years. The injuries are lead by bicycling, football and playground accidents.
Traumatic brain injuries, in the US, rose to 248,418 cases in 2009 from 153,375 in 2001, according to a report by the Atlanta –based centre for disease control and prevention. Accidents from soccer and basketball also contributed to the increase.
Commenting on the findings, Liam Moloney Medical Injury Solicitor said “the increase probably stems from a heightened awareness among coaches and parents that children need to be seen by a doctor immediately after a head injury. Research has shown that a child’s developing brain can be resilient but it is also known to be vulnerable to the chemical changes that occur after a brain injury.”
About 71% of all visits recorded were among boys according to the data. Most of those in the emergency room, about 71%, were between 10 and 19 years old. Children under 9 years mostly sustained injuries from bicycling or playground activities. Older boys were mostly injured in football, older girls mostly from bicycling or soccer, the data showed.
Head injuries contributed to by football accounted for 57% of trauma-related sports death among youths from 1980 to 2009, according to an analysis published in the journal Paediatrics in June. 12% of the 138 football deaths caused by neck or head injuries involved youths who returned to a game after a concussion, researchers said.