THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Annually, an average of 283,000 children aged younger than 18 years seek care in emergency departments for sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries (SRR-TBIs), according to research published in the March 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Kelly Sarmiento, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program for SRR-TBI emergency department visits during 2010 to 2016.

The researchers found that each year, an average of 283,000 children aged younger than 18 years sought care in emergency departments for SRR-TBI, with overall rates leveling off in recent years. Boys and children aged 10 to 14 and 15 to 17 years had the highest rates. About 45 percent of all SRR-TBI emergency department visits were due to TBIs sustained in contact sports. Football, bicycling, basketball, playground activities, and soccer were associated with the highest numbers of emergency department visits.

“TBIs in sports and recreational activities remain a significant public health problem,” the authors write. “Development and testing of evidence-based interventions tailored for individual noncontact sports and recreation activities are warranted to ensure that children can stay healthy and active.”

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