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Got A Young Athlete? Traumatic Brain Injuries Have Sharply Increased

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More kids are suffering traumatic brain injuries while playing sports or riding bikes. Be sure they wear a helmet.

In the last eight years, traumatic brain injuries among children have risen a whopping 60%.

According to WebMD, the Centers for Disease Control reported this week that more than 248,000 young athletes landed in emergency rooms for concussions and similar injuries in 2009, an increase of 60% since 2001. The athletic and recreational activities most likely to lead to head injury hospital visits were bicycling, football, playground activities, basketball, and soccer.  Most of those getting treated for such injuries were boys between the ages of 10 and 19.

Babies and young children were most likely to sustain concussions during activities like riding bikes or playing on the playground.

The website Kids Health states that concussions can be medical emergencies, depending on their severity: “Anyone with a head injury — especially kids — should get checked by a doctor. Someone who is knocked unconscious should get care in the emergency room as soon as possible.”

If your child has a serious fall or collision, you should look for the following signs, which may appear within a few minutes or even days afterwards:

 

  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness (even a brief one)
  • Memory problems
  • Headache
  • Pressure in the head
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Inattentiveness

Some of the best ways to prevent traumatic brain injuries among children are to make sure they wear their seatbelts, and that they wear properly fitted helmets when riding bikes or playing sports. To learn the right way to fit a bike helmet, visit the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Photo credit: NHTSA

 

Don’t miss Babble’s 23 Things to Know About Biking with Your Children!

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