Traumatic brain injuries may be making headlines around the nation, but the public is still woefully under-informed about the reality of brain injuries. The majority of concussion and TBI reporting and education is focused on athletics, even though traumatic brain injuries are known as the “signature injury” for veterans deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and more brain injuries occur in car wrecks every day than on football fields.
To help educate the public about the aspects of TBI that often get left out in the sports-related brain injury discussion, the Army has released a set of ten facts you should keep in mind the next time you hear someone try to dismiss concussions as a minor injury.
2.4 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries every year in the U.S. alone.
- Blasts are the most common cause of TBIs for veterans in war zones. Elsewhere, falls can be attributed to 35 percent of TBIs, and motor vehicles account for 17 percent.
- TBI is a contributing factor to a third of all injury-related deaths in the U.S.
- TBIs can increase the risk for a variety of long-lasting conditions such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s’ disease.
- Males are estimated to be 1.5 times as likely to sustain a TBI compared to females.
- Children aged 0 to 4, teens aged 15 to 19, and adults over the age of 65 are the most likely to suffer TBI.
- Having a concussion increases the risk of suffering another, and those who have multiple concussions take significantly longer to recover.
- Kids who suffer a concussion may have a much slower recovery if they’ve taken one or more blows to the head in the past.
- Studies show that kids who have the most mental activity after a concussion take the longest to fully recover. It takes an average of 100 days for these children to recover.
- Bicycling, football, playground activities, basketball, and soccer are associated with the highest number of TBI-related emergency room visits.