Really disturbing story in the latest issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics – seems the number of ER visits by young athletes with concussions has gone through the roof. And experts are theorizing that it’s not just because parents and coaches are more aware of the dangers of head injuries, but because the intensity and aggression in competitive youth sports has soared too.
Emergency room visits for 14- to 19-year-olds with concussions has tripled in the last decade — from 7,000 in 1997, to 22,000 in 2007. And younger kids, ages 8-13, went from 3,800 to 8,000.
And that awareness stuff is troubling too. Yes, parents, coaches and players are more aware of concussions – but, say the study’s authors, their concerns seem to center around how soon the kids can get back on the field, rather than the long-term impact of having one’s brain matter sloshed against the sides of the skull.
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