New Study Suggests Only 40% of Child and Teen Concussions Happen While Playing Contact Sports
Contact sports such as football or soccer have become almost synonymous with concussion risks. Many teen athletes do sustain concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) while playing contact sports. However, it is important for parents to recognize that contact sports are not the only way in which their kids can get hurt. In fact, according to a recent study reported in Medscape Medical News, only about 40% of all youth concussions actually result from contact sports. If your child sustained a recent head injury, contact a brain injury attorney immediately.
The study was conducted by researchers led by Dr. Christina Master, a pediatric primary care sports medicine doctor at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). According to Dr. Master, “while sports concussions have been important in raising awareness of concussions, it is important to remember that many nonsports/life activities can result in concussion as well and that it is a common injury in childhood and not just in sports.” What causes the remaining 60% of mild TBIs suffered by teens?`
The CHOP researchers looked at data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concerning concussions among kids aged 0-17 between 2012 and 2014. In total, approximately 70% of the mild TBIs resulted from “sports and recreation activities,” but only 40% were actually tied to contact sports. Much of the news would lead parents to believe that contact sports are the only way in which their children might sustain a concussion, but many other recreational activities can lead to a brain injury. In addition, 30% of all identified concussions did not result from sports or recreational activities at all, but instead happened as a result of motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, falls from heights, and even intentional assault. Regardless of how the head injury occurred, it’s important to assess your options for compensation in case there were negligence and injuries. Consult a traumatic brain injury lawyer today to know you and your child’s rights.
Preventing and Treating Concussions in Kids
What is the lesson for parents? It is important to “think beyond contact sports” when taking steps to prevent brain injuries. These injuries often occur on playgrounds during school recess, and in non-recreational activities altogether, as we mentioned above. When kids fall on a playground, parents may be less likely to take the child to the doctor to be assessed for a concussion. However, waiting to seek treatment for a TBI can have long-term effects. The lesson is that brain injury occurs in many different ways among children, and it is important to seek medical attention if you are concerned that your child sustained a concussion.
- A headache that will not go away;
- Neck pain that will not go away;
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering;
- Difficulty making decisions;
- Thinking, speaking, acting, or reading more slowly than usual;
- Getting confused easily;
- Feeling fatigued;
- Changes in mood;
- Sleep pattern changes;
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded;
- Vomiting and nausea;
- Sensitivity to light and/or sound;
- Blurry vision;
- Loss of the sense of taste or smell; and
- Ringing in the ears.
If you have questions about your child’s injury, contact an experienced brain injury lawyer to discuss your situation.