Health officials warn parents of traumatic brain injury among athletic children

October 12, 2011

Atlanta – Increased awareness, proper techniques and protective equipment can help prevent brain damage among children who play sports, according to a report released Oct. 7 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC researchers found that concussions and other traumatic brain injuries related to sports led to an estimated 207,830 emergency department visits every year from 2001 to 2005. Sixty-five percent of those visits were for TBIs among children 5-18 years old. Bicycling and football were the sports with the highest rates of emergency department treatment for TBIs.

In response to these statistics, CDC has developed the Heads Up initiative, which offers concussion education for health care providers, coaches, athletic trainers, school nurses, teachers, counselors, parents and student athletes. The initiative includes a course developed by the CDC Foundation and the National Football League.