Pediatric sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, or SRR-TBIs, cause more than 280,000 visits to EDs throughout the United States, according to researchers from the CDC. Nearly half of these SRR-TBIs are caused by contact sports.
According to Kelly Sarmiento, MPH, a public health advisor in the CDC’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention’s traumatic brain injury team, and colleagues, previous research has suggested that children account for 70% of ED visits for SRR-TBIs.
The researchers examined all reported SRR-TBI cases presenting to American EDs between 2010 and 2016.
According to the researchers, an average of 283,000 SRR-TBIs among children aged younger than 18 years were treated in an emergency setting each year during the study period. Sarmiento and colleagues observed a “leveling off” in recent years. They theorized that this change beginning in 2012 may have occurred due to successful prevention efforts such as safety-minded rule changes in contact sports, declining participation in these sports or changes in care-seeking behaviors.
Researchers from the CDC report that more than 280,000 children visit EDs with a sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injury. The most commonly reported causes of these were football, bicycling, basketball, playground activities and soccer.
Male children had the highest rate of concussion, along with children aged 10 to 14 years and 15 to 17 years. Contact sports were the source of SRR-TBI for approximately 45% of all ED visits. When activity type was examined, football, bicycling, basketball, playground activities and soccer contributed to the highest number of ED visits for SRR-TBIs.
“Limiting player-to-player contact and rule changes that reduce risk for collisions are critical to preventing TBI in contact and limited-contact sports,” Sarmiento and colleagues wrote. “Development and testing of evidence-based interventions tailored for individual noncontact sports and recreation activities are warranted to ensure that children can stay healthy and active.” – by Katherine Bortz
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.