A new report released Tuesday confirms what we’ve long suspected to be true; football has the highest concussion rate for all youth sports. Followed by wrestling and cheerleading, traumatic brain injury (TBI) sends young athletes to emergency rooms every 25 seconds.
The “Game Changers” report studied the 14 most popular sports in the United States and found that 1.35 million brain injuries severe enough to require an emergency room visit occur in young athletes every year.
While football had the highest concussion rate, ice hockey actually had the highest percent of concussion injuries, accounting for 12 percent of the ER visits. Out of all of the youth-related concussion emergency room visits, nearly half – 47 percent – were athletes. It was also noted that girls were more likely to report concussions than males.
“You don’t understand the damage to your brain when it is slammed against your skull in a concussion,” Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide, told MSNBC. “We have an injury that is not as visible and we have some signs and symptoms of what a concussion does as serious as blacking out to being dizzy.”
“We don’t want kids to stop playing sports. We want kids to be out there, to be playing safe and strong, and for a long period of time,” Carr said. “But what we are encouraging and what we’re calling our ‘game changers’ is to make sure everybody gets educated about how to prevent a serious sports injury.”
Sports are part of an active and healthy lifestyle, but they require safety precautions. For injuries like TBI, we have to teach our kids to speak up and be open about their injuries.