The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are calling for public policy changes to stem the increase of sports-related brain injuries in youths, according to Bloomberg News.
In its weekly Morbidity and Mortality report, the CDC said that the success rate in reducing head trauma in motor vehicle accidents should be a model for similar initiatives in youth sports, such as football. There has been a 40 percent decline in TBI deaths from car crashes since 1980, Bloomberg reported.
Contrast that trend to TBIs with youths. They have jumped 60 percent from 2001 to 2009 for those under 19 who were taking part in sports and recreational activities.
It’s true that deaths from brain injury for those 15 to 19 have “been cut in half” from 1990 to 2010, Bloomberg said. However, emergency-room trips for such teens have skyrocketed.
There were at least 2.4 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to TBI — when all causes were tallied, including falls and assaults — in 2009, Bloomberg said, citing CDC figures. And TBI costs the country a whopping $76.5 billion in medical bills and indirect costs, such as diminished productivity, Bloomberg reported.
Here are some more stats: Falls are responsible for more than 35 percent of TBIs, although kids under 14 and adults over 65 are more susceptible to such accidents, according to Bloomberg. Motor vehicle accidents and “blunt impact” each account for 17 percent.