Emergency room visits by children with concussions and other brain traumas from sports or other recreational activities have increased over the last decade, according to a U.S. government report.
The findings are reported in Friday's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC reports a 60 percent increase in the estimated number of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries seen among young athletes during the past decade. In 2001, there were an estimated 153,375 traumatic brain injuries among people under 19. This number increased to 248,418 in 2009.
Bicycling and football were the most common activities associated with TBIs. A further breakdown by the CDC showed trips to the ER as a result of these injuries varied by gender and age group.
Teenage boys were more likely to sustain a TBI playing football or riding a bike, while girls faced the greatest risk playing soccer or basketball in addition to bicycling.
Children under the age of nine were more likely to be hurt on the playground or while riding a bike. One reason for the increase in TBIs and emergency room visits was a heightened awareness among parents and coaches to the potential threat of a head injury, added the CDC researchers.
The authors noted a number of limitations to their findings, including the inability to calculate a precise injury rate because of a lack of national participation and exposure data.