The number of kids who visited emergency rooms for sports-related concussions in the last ten years has risen by 92 percent, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.
Between 2002 and 2011, sports-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) were the source of 3,878 ER visits, or 15.4 percent. Of those, 90 percent were discharged from the hospital, but 9.6 percent were admitted. The admittance rate has not changed over the past decade.
Seventy-three percent of the patients were male and 78 percent were Caucasian.
Researchers from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center say the rise is in part due to more kids playing sports at younger ages and the increased media attention on concussions.
According to Mayo Clinic, traumatic brain injury occurs when an external mechanical force causes brain dysfunction. This usually happens from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body that can happen from a hard hit on the football field to a fall from a skateboard.
Mild TBI may cause temporary dysfunction of brain cells, while more serious TBI can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain that can result in long-term complications or death.
Traumatic brain injuries can be especially problematic for children, whose brains are still developing.
If your child was hit in the head or body and you think they may have a concussion, it’s urgent to see a doctor immediately.
Symptoms of TBI include loss of consciousness, headache, confusion, dizziness, fatigue, sensory problems, moodiness, sensitivity to light, nausea, difficulty sleeping, oversleeping and memory or concentration problems.
Young children or infants who may have a concussion could show symptoms including a change in eating or nursing habits, persistent crying, loss of interest in toys or activities, sadness, change in sleep habits, change in ability to pay attention and inability to be consoled.