Young Athletes Face Increased Concussion Risk

Tuesday 14th September 2010

An increasing number of children and young athletes have suffered a concussion due to playing organised team sports including football and hockey, according to new research published in the journal Paediatrics.

Researchers at the Hasbro Children's Hospital report that the incidence of sports related injuries in American children seems to have risen steadily over a ten year period – with sports related hospital admissions for 14-19 year olds increasing by 200% between 2001-2009, despite a decrease in the number of children participating in competitive team sports. And experts warn that children as young as 8-13 years could account for up to 40% of all sports related hospital admissions.

Experts warn that concussions caused in this way could badly damage affected children and could cause cognitive disturbance and may even disturb the child's skill acquisition abilities.

The report's authors have also called attention to the lack of clear guidelines concerning the treatment of child athletes with concussions and the way to best rehabilitate them and help them return to safely playing sports.

The findings have prompted health care professionals to call for further research into injury prevention strategies that could better prevent sports related accidents in children that could otherwise result in concussion.

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