A new study by Safe Kids Worldwide found that 163,670 children were treated in emergency rooms last year for sports-related concussions, or one child every three minutes. The analysis also found that 47 percent of these concussions were sustained by youths 12 to 15 years old.
All in all, 1.35 million kids and youths 19 and younger were seen in ERs for injuries suffered while they were playing 14 sports. But concussions made up a good deal of the Safe Kids report.
The study found that the percentage of children seen for sports-related concussions who required hospitalization was almost double the percentage of non-concussions sports injuries requiring hospitalization.
The report also sounded an alarm over the 47 percent figure, which it said was the first time that the concussion risk for younger kids has been quantified on a national basis. Children who have traumatic brain injury (TBI) are more prone to dangerous — and potentially fatal — brain swelling than adults are, according to the study.
The concussion rate per 10,000 youth athletes was highest for football, at 40, followed by wrestling, 15.
In terms of the percentage of injuries that are concussions, ice hockey is No. 1 in that particular ranking, at 31 percent. For football, it’s just 13 percent.
In the sports of basketball and soccer, girls are more likely than boys to be seen with concussions as a percentage of all sports-related injuries.
In its study Safe Kids talked about the various state laws regarding schools and the handling of concussions, and providing a tool kit to help school districts set up their own policies.