Children are increasingly suffering from traumatic brain injuries, and a new study has linked this increase in head trauma to kids in sports.
The study focused on nine years (2002 to 2011) of emergency room visits at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and found that 15 percent of children's brain injuries were sports-related, CBS News reports.
What does this trend mean for child athletes and their teams?
Study Spotlights Child Athlete Brain Injuries
The Cincinnati study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that in sports-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases, the average patient admitted was more likely to be a white male around 10 to 16 years of age.
Although this study did report a 92 percent increase in the number of emergency room visits for sports-related TBIs, there was no significant change in the percentage of children admitted for these injuries.
Perhaps parents are now more alert about child athlete injuries after reading studies suggesting that more and more teens are suffering concussions as a part of sports.
The study also suggests that even for children who were admitted for sports-related TBI, the severity of their injuries decreased over the course of the study. Maybe news coverage of the long-term brain damage suffered by many professional athletes has had a lasting effect on how child athletes are treated.
Avoiding Head Trauma in Child Sports
Whether it's helicopter parenting or more safety-conscious sports programs, it does appear that kids are getting injured in less serious ways.
Parents should still keep these considerations in mind when signing their children up for sports:
- Be careful with sports waivers. Even though you may trust the coach and/or school that distributed the waiver, make sure to read it completely so that you understand what you're signing.
- Be proactive with safety. The coach may not be as sensitive to your child's injuries or health, so make sure that you remind your child to take a break when feeling injured and not try to "tough it out."
- Keep legal options in mind. Sports injury lawsuits aren't uncommon, but they are complicated, so a suit may not always be your best option.
Head injuries aren't a fun part of adult or child sports, so keep safety in mind when sending your kid out onto the field.
- 1.35 million youths a year have serious sports injuries (USA Today)
- NFL Concussion Settlement: $765M for 4,500 Retired Players (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- Wrestling Camp Sued Over Teen's Brain Injury (FindLaw's Injured)
- Browse Personal Injury Lawyers by Location (FindLaw)