Almost 2 million children went to the emergency room with symptoms of a traumatic brain injury because of sports and recreation activities during a six-year span, according to a CDC report.
Football, basketball and soccer contributed to many of the visits, but bicycling and playground activities also topped the list.
“My son goes kind of hard on the soccer field so we do worry,” Brooke McGoye said.
When her 12-year-old son, Ethan, isn't kicking the ball on the soccer field, he's dropping in at the skate park in Atlantic Beach.
She said like many parents, she and her husband worry about the potential for brain injuries.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows nearly 2 million children had a traumatic brain injury related emergency room visit between 2010 and 2016 -- an average of 283,000 children ages 17 and younger per year.
The study said the highest rates were among males and children ages 10-14 and 15-17 years. “You just play knowing that. You don’t want to hurt anyone else and you don’t want to get hurt,” McGoye said.
The CDC says traumatic brain injury can lead to short- or long-term emotional, physiologic and cognitive damage.
The CDC report found rule changes and teaching strategies that limit player-to-player collisions can help keep children safe.
It also recommended pre-participation athletic examinations to identify athletes at increased risk for TBI.
“I think they’re old enough to get it and understand the dangers that come with it and concussions and their coaches teach them about that,” McGoye said. "Let them know you can get hurt and trust they're going to make the right decisions."
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