A recent report indicates that the amount of young athletes experiencing traumatic brain injuries has increased 60% over the last 10 years.
Earlier this month, a report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that people under age 19, face a heightened risk of TBIs that are more likely to increase severity and longer recovery time, in comparison to adults.
The report reveals that 153,275 young athletes were admitted to emergency rooms in 2001 across the country for concussions and other sports-related head injuries. The amount of ER admissions increased to 248,418 in 2009 according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program data. Head injuries that became fatal were not included. Also in 2009, 298 youths for every 100,000 suffered a head injury.
The highest rate of injuries were males between ages 10 and 19. The most common causes of traumatic brain injuries were playground activities and bicycling. Sports that were associated with head injuries were basketball, football and soccer.
How to Prevent Traumatic Brain Injuries
It is recommended by the CDC to do three things in order to prevent brain injury:
1. Increase awareness by educating students on TBI risks from sports and recreation
2. Teach proper techniques and wear protective equipment
3. Quickly report to injuries, especially concussions
Worldwide, 1.4 to 1.7 million people suffer a head injury each year and are the leading cause of death and permanent disability. It is unknown why the amount of injuries among minors has grown. Motorcycle and car accidents are responsible for about 20 percent of all traumatic brain injuries.