Spike in ER Visits for Child Head Injuries: Study

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on October 03, 2013 11:49 AM

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:

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.

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