Recently, many articles and studies have been published that highlight the potential dangers of youth sports. Among those dangers are head injuries that could occur during a contact sport such as football or soccer or during acrobatic stunts prominent in cheerleading. Most recently, a study published in Pediatrics features statistics that might make it difficult for some parents of young athletes and active children to rest easy. In the study, “researchers found a 92 percent increase in pediatric visits to their hospital emergency room for sports-related traumatic brain injury from 2002 to 2011,” according to ABC News.
The researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center also found that the amount of children who were admitted to the hospital for further observation also increased by approximately 10 percent. Despite the increase in emergency room visits, the researchers found that the overall severity of the cases is decreasing. The researchers say that these results indicate that parents and coaches are more concerned with sports-related head injuries.
The researchers studied more than 3,800 adolescents who visited the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center with head injuries. The statistics revealed that football accounted for 30 percent of the emergency room visits. In addition, skateboarding, rollerblading, baseball and other activities were among the most common causes of hospital admissions, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Although the study was small in scope, it reveals a growing awareness of the potential dangers of head injuries sustained in youth sports. According to a press release, traumatic brain injury is known as an “invisible epidemic” that is responsible for “approximately 630,000 emergency visits, more than 67,000 hospitalizations and 6,100 deaths in children and teens each year.”