Football and baseball have gotten most of the press, but concussions are also on the rise in basketball, girls’ basketball in particular, according to a study published Monday by the Pediatrics medical journal.
The New York Times wrote a story about the study Tuesday, in a story headlined “In Basketball, Danger of Head Trauma.” The article notes that basketball is America’s most popular youth sport, with 1 million children participating, some 550,000 boys and 450,000 girls.
These are the kids who are getting more and more head injuries, since basketball is in fact a contact sport. The 11-year study found that for the year 2007, roughly 375,000 children and teens went to hospital emergency rooms for basketball-related injuries. In 2007, 4 percent of those injuries were related to the head, twice as many as were reported in 1997, according to The Times.
About 109,000 children and teens received treatment for head injuries stemming from basketball during the span of the study, according to The Times, with some 12,000 in 2007. The percent of head injuries girls suffered during the time period covered by the study tripled, while it just doubled for boys, The Times said.
According to a separate report in Pediatrics, basketball was responsible for more than 9 percent of athletic concussions for 8- to 19-year-olds, putting it No. 2 among all youth sports, second only to football, which accounted for 22 percent, according to The Times. Soccer was No. 3, at 7.7 percent, and then came hockey and basketball, at just less than 4 percent each.
There are several theories about the rise in basketball head injuries, especially among girls. First, there is more public awareness of the danger of concussions. The sport may be getting more competitive, according to The Times. And girls may be more willing to ask for medical help when they are injured.