While car accidents rank as the top cause of brain injuries for adults, teens are more likely to develop them from participating in certain sports. One study has shown the prevalence of these injuries in youth sports across California and the rest of the country.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
Traumatic brain injuries can occur when a person experiences a sharp blow to the head or a foreign object impaling the skull and penetrating the brain. Often, this type of injury is sustained during car accidents. However, they are also common due to falls in elderly people and contact sports in professional and amateur athletes, including teens.
How common are brain injuries in teens who participate in sports?
According to one study, young people under the age of 20 who participate in sports activities are more likely to suffer from brain injuries. The study revealed that over a three-year period, there were more than 4 million TBIs diagnosed in hospital emergency rooms. Many of the victims were only between the ages of 10 and 14 while the next highest group were between 15 and 19 years old. Football was determined to be the main sport that resulted in such serious injuries.
Among teenage girls who participate in sports, concussions are the most common brain injuries. Young women athletes also have a higher rate of concussions compared with their male counterparts. TBIs that result in repeated concussions pose the risk of memory loss. Repeated head trauma can also lead to skull fractures, bleeding in the brain and swelling of the brain. These injuries can potentially be fatal if there isn’t prompt treatment administered.
What sports increase the risk of brain injuries?
While football ranks as the main sport that causes TBIs, teens can sustain brain injuries from other sports as well. Baseball or softball, basketball, soccer, boxing, martial arts, horseback riding and even cheerleading can lead to brain injuries in teens.
If you suspect that your teen has suffered a TBI or concussion, time is of the essence. Get them prompt medical attention.