Few things are scarier or more concerning to a parent than a child head injury, especially if it leads to a concussion. In recent years, there has been a spike in news headlines that are riddled with studies about the long-term complications associated with concussions. Now, parents are perhaps more knowledgeable about the risks associated with head injuries and even more cautious, as data suggests that more parents are bringing their children to the hospital for head injuries today than ever before.
The Pros and Cons of Sports for Children
Sports can be a very positive thing for children today, particularly in a culture like America’s threatened by the childhood obesity epidemic. The increased physical activity and character-building aspects of sports can provide an invaluable experience for youths.
Unfortunately, the physical nature of most sports – football in particular – puts kids at great risk of injuries and health complications. After all, an underdeveloped child is much more prone to serious injury than a full-grown adult, and a child head injury can lead to serious long-term complications.
Although sports can lead to injuries of all kinds, head injuries – namely concussions – are at the top of the totem pole when it comes to precaution. The constant chatter about concussions has been rampant throughout the country, whether it is regarding children or adult athletes, and data shows that an increased sense of awareness has had a positive result on how we approach child head injuries.
Data Suggests More Cautious Approach to a Child Head Injury
Dr. Jeffery Colvin, a pediatrician at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, MO, looked at medical records from 14 children’s hospitals nationwide regarding head injuries and concussions.
The data showed that in 2001, emergency room doctors at 14 children’s hospitals throughout the country diagnosed concussions in 2,126 children under the age of 18. That number had more than doubled to 4,967 in 2010.
Colvin says the significant increases in research and awareness campaigns about the dangers of a child head injury and concussions has forced more parents to take additional precautionary measures, including visits to the emergency room.
Although Colvin’s research shows a serious spike in the number of children who are diagnosed with a concussion, he says the injuries themselves don’t seem to be getting worse. In 2001, 25 percent of the children diagnosed required hospital treatment for their injuries; in 2010, just nine percent received treatment.
Laws and regulations may also have an impact on the increases in hospital visits. Dr. Rebecca Carl of Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital says the Illinois legislation requiring child athletes to be evaluated by a doctor if they are suspected of having a concussion is likely one of the key factors.
Data suggests that more than 170,000 children annually receive emergency room treatment for a child head injury in the United States. All children suspected of having a concussion or with serious symptoms including headaches, vomiting or mental confusion should receive emergency room treatment.
Do you think that parents are more cautious about a child head injury today than they were ten years ago? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comment box below. If your child has suffered a serious head injury, contact the Davis Law Group today at 206-727-4000 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.