The Epidemic Called Concussion
- There are between 1.6 and 3.8 million concussions estimated annually.
- 400,000 school-age kids each year suffer a concussion.
- A 2012 study reported that concussions accounted for 13.2% of sport related injuries.
- “Estimated that 40% of high school athletes return to the field too soon,” ESPN, Political Football
- Approximately 75% of the 1.7 million Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) that occur each year are concussions. “Direct medical costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity of TBI totaled an estimated $76.5 billion in the U.S. in 2000.” CDC Centers from Disease Control and Prevention
- “….Crosby met with Dr. Michael Collins and passed an Impact test, the standard concussion assessment test…Collins did not see indications of a concussion. But Crosby had concussion-like symptoms — including headaches — after light work- outs last weekend.”
- “All of our clinical tests have very limited sensitivity,” she said. “People can look perfectly intact, including on the Impact test he took. Part of the big problem of figuring out when it’s safe for an athlete to return to play is our tests lack sufficient sensitivity to tell us that a person is completely recovered.” Dr. Robin Green, PhD, Neurorehabilitation Science Lab, Toronto.
- “Four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning has admitted that he intentionally fails the NFL’s baseline concussion tests…that he low-balls the preseason baseline tests with the expectation that it may help him remain in the game if he suffers a head injury during the year.” USA Today.
- 37% of 3rd through 8th graders have quit youth football in the past 5 years. While many sports injuries, particularly those orthopedic in nature, are obvious, concussions are more insidious. If concern regarding concussion or other sports injury could be driving youth away from contact sports, how can this concern be addressed?
The www.Safekids.org website presents a wealth of information relating to youth sports injuries. Some of their facts:
- Of the 46.5 million children who play sports in the United States, one in three of them will be injured seriously enough to miss practice or a game.
- Because children are still growing, their bones, muscles and tendons are more susceptible to injury. Most orthopedic injuries occur from football, roller sports, basketball and bicycling.
- Concussions occur most often in soccer, basketball, football or bicycling.
- More than 90 percent of sports related concussions occur without the loss of consciousness.
- Between 2004 and 2009, there were 24 sports-related deaths in high school athletes ….researchers believe that traumatic brain injuries and sudden cardiac arrest are leading causes of death in young athletes.
- And finally, it is not only our athletes who are at risk. In 2011, more than 2.6 million children 19 years of age and younger were seen in emergency rooms for injuries relating to activities such as football, basketball, playing on a playground, scooter riding and trampolining.