Forget Organized Sports For A Second

17 Oct

The concussion and head trauma issue has centered on organized sports, mainly football and hockey in North America.  Granted those are collision sports with a high propensity of traumatic events, but what about the activities that our children partake in on a daily basis.  At parks, streets, parking lots, and private property the youth is exposed to concussion/head trauma risks.  This information was brought to my attention by Sal Marinello, CSCS, CPT in response to the Matt Chaney post, thanks Sal.

In 2008 93 kids under the age of 15 were killed in bicycle accidents while a staggering 13,000 were injured, 62% of the injuries and deaths were due to head injuries.  This has been the reason for wearing helmets, especially for the youth.  These numbers probably don’t take into consideration the accidents that occur where a person may walk away and not seek treatment.  The ol’ bump on the head injury is of particular concern.

Bikes are not the only issue, skateboards and other wheeled activities have a high incidence as well.  According to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford skateboarding, in-line and roller skating combine for 99,000 injuries for children aged 5-14.  For reference bicycling accounts for 275,000 and football nearly 194,000; 21% of the injuries being traumatic head injury.  The website highlights this passage “Almost 50 percent of head injuries sustained in sports or recreational activities occur during bicycling, skateboarding, or skating incidents.”  A very telling incident rate, one of which has been sorely overlooked in this concussion issue.

Of the 3.5 million injuries sustained due to sports 735,000 of them are traumatic head injuries, ONLY FOR CHILDREN BETWEEN 5-14.  This then means that 367,500 are due to bikes, skates, and wheeled sports; dwarfing the football traumatic head injury incidence of 40,740.

The moral of the post is that concussion are not limited to organized team sports, and perhaps that issue is only the tip of the iceberg.

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One Response to “Forget Organized Sports For A Second”

  1. Joe Bloggs October 17, 2011 at 18:32 #

    Certainly individual sports/activities must be examined, however, the difference with organized collision sports is that in many, if not most cases, these sports are promoted and paid for by taxpayers under the auspices of education. Should the taxpayer be promoting violent sports coupled with poor coaching and medical management thereby creating a massive unbooked liability?

    Chaney’s data clearly indicates that in all likelihood has been grossly underreporting injuries over the past two decades.

    Who will end up paying the bill?

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