Concussions and participation in organized youth sports

January 01, 0001

Concussions and participation in organized youth sports

These US researchers endeavored to characterize emergency department (ED) visits for sport-related concussion (SRC) in children and to compare these events between high school and younger aged patients. They performed a stratified probability sample of US hospitals with EDs in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance as well as the All Injury Program. Concussion-related ED visits were analyzed for 8-13 year olds and 14-19 year olds. Population data were obtained from the US Census Bureau and sport participation data were obtained from the National Sporting Goods Association.

The researchers found: "From 2001 to 2005, US children who were aged 8 to 19 years had an estimated 502 000 ED visits for concussion. The 8- to 13- year-old group accounted for 35% of these visits. Approximately half of all ED visits for concussion were SRC. The 8- to 13-year-old group sustained 40% of these, which represents 58% of all concussions in this group. Approximately 25% of all SRC visits in the 8- to 13-year-old group occurred during organized team sport (OTS). During the study period, 4 in 1000 children aged 8 to 13 years and 6 in 1000 children aged 14 to 19 years had an ED visit for SRC, and 1 in 1000 children aged 8 to 13 years and 3 in 1000 children aged 14 to 19 years had an ED visit for concussion sustained during OTS. From 1997 to 2007, although participation had declined, ED visits for concussions in OTS in 8- to 13-year-old children had doubled and had increased by greater than 200% in the 14- to 19-year-old group."

The researchers concluded: "The number of SRCs in young athletes is noteworthy. Additional research is required."

This study emphasizes the risk of concussion in pediatric patients, especially in the context of sports participation.

For the full abstract, click here.

Pediatrics 126(3):e550-e556, September 2010
© 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics
Emergency Department Visits for Concussion in Young Child Athletes. Lisa L. Bakhos, Gregory R. Lockhart, Richard Myers, James G. Linakis.

Category: N. Neurological. Keywords: concussion, sports, team, youth, high school, stratified probability sample, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 24 September 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.