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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Concussions on the Rise for Young Athletes


By Denise Mann
WebMD Health News

There was about a 60% increase in the estimated number of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI) seen among young athletes during the past decade, according to the CDC.

In 2001, there were an estimated 153,375 traumatic brain injuries among people from birth to age 19. This number rose to 248,418 in 2009.

Many of these injuries occurred among bicyclers, football players, and children in playgrounds. Basketball and soccer players are also at risk for TBI, according to a new report in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Exactly why we are seeing this uptick is not known, but "I believe this is, at least, in part due to increased awareness," says study researcher Julie Gilchrist, MD. She is a pediatrician with the CDC's Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control in Atlanta.

"We are hoping that awareness has gotten up to the point that parents, teachers, and coaches recognize the signs and symptoms of concussion and make sure that children are evaluated," she says.

The entire story can be read here.

The Pennsylvania Psychological Association helped to pass concussion management legislation.  Through active advocacy efforts, one of our aspirational ethics, psychologists are independent professionals able to assess and determine return to play for teenagers who suffered a head injury.

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