A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a report indicating emergency room visits are on the rise for kids with sports and recreation-related brain injuries, like concussions.
Nearly 250,000 children were taken to the ER with concussions and other brain injuries in 2009, compared to just 150,000 in 2002!
At first glance, this looks awful. What's the deal here? Are sports becoming rougher and tougher?
"Because of the increased awareness of concussions, we hope more people are seeking treatment and evaluation of traumatic brain injury."
So don't let the scary headline fool you and start pulling your kids out of sports because of the rising hospital admissions, as Dr. Gilchrist continued:
"We don't want this study to make parents fearful and pull their kids out of sports. What we do want is to get people to be aware of the signs and symptoms and pull their kids out if they start to see them."
Be on the look out for young athletes complaining about headaches or pressure in the head, nausea and vomiting, balance problems, sensitivity to light, difficulty paying attention, or even a general sense of things not being quite right. The pediatrician added:
"The child might appear dazed or stunned, confused or forgetful. You might also see behavioral changes, and if they've lost consciousness at all, that's a troubling sign."
The most common sports for head injuries in males were (obviously) football and (surprisingly) cycling, while cycling, basketball and soccer were the cause of the most head injuries for females.
[Image via AP Images.]