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Sports-Related Concussions Often Occur in Younger Kids

These account for 58 percent of all concussions needing ER treatment in 8- to 13-year-olds

MONDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Children ages 8 to 13 account for a considerable portion of sports-related concussions (SRCs) that occur among young people, according to research published online Aug. 30 in Pediatrics.

Lisa L. Bakhos, M.D., of Brown University in Providence, R.I., and colleagues analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) from 1997 through 2007 and the NEISS All Injury Program from 2001 through 2005. The researchers found that, from 2001 to 2005, youths aged 8 to 19 made an estimated 502,000 emergency department visits for concussions, with 8- to 13-year-olds accounting for roughly 35 percent of visits. SRCs represented 58 percent of all concussions in the 8- to 13-year-olds. Roughly one-quarter of SRC visits in the younger children occurred during organized team sports -- primarily football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and ice hockey.

The authors of an accompanying clinical report on diagnosing and managing SRCs write that children with a concussion should be evaluated by a physician and receive medical clearance before returning to play. They urge that athletes who suffer a concussion get physical rest and "cognitive rest," which may include a lightened load of schoolwork and avoiding standardized tests.

"Although the number of SRCs is higher in the older athlete, the number in young athletes is noteworthy and warrants additional research," Bakhos and colleagues conclude. "Additional research to provide guidance in management, prevention strategies, and education for practitioners, coaches, and athletes is required."

Abstract - Bakhos
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Accompanying Clinical Report

Physician's Briefing