ER visits by children for recreational activity-related TBI go up

The results of a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention appear to indicate that brain injury awareness among adults who supervise children during recreational activities may have gone up in recent years.

The study looked at the number of emergency room visits that were made at a group of hospitals by individuals ages 19 and younger due to recreational activity-related traumatic brain injuries from 2001 to 2009. The study found that the annual number of such visits went up from 153,375 to 248,418 over this period.

This gives rise to the question: what caused this increase in ER visits?

Reportedly, the study’s researchers doubt that the increase in ER visits was caused by an increase in the occurrence of recreational activity-related brain injuries among children.

If this is not what caused the increase in ER visits, what did? Reportedly, some believe that the increase in ER visits occurred because brain injury awareness increased among parents, coaches and other supervising adults and this made it so children were more likely to be sent to the emergency room after a potential head injury.

If this is in fact what occurred, it could be a very encouraging development. Timely responses can be very important when a child suffers a brain injury. Thus, an increase in brain injury awareness and an increase in actions by adults who supervise children during recreational activities in response to potential head injuries could be very beneficial. Thus, it will be interesting to see if increased brain injury awareness is ultimately determined to have been behind the rise in ER visits by children for recreational activity-related traumatic brain injuries.

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