Every year too many of our kids are suffering concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries in youth sports. And we all want to bring these numbers down. But it’s hard to prevent concussions and sports-related head injuries if we don’t know how kids are injuring themselves.
So, a group of Canadian researchers as set off to do just that; figure out exactly how brain injuries among kids playing sports are taking place in order to create and implement new ways to make sports safer for the kids.
The study is out of St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada and the researchers have collected and evaluated data from Canadian Hospitals Reporting and Prevention Program. The scientists looked at data from almost 13,000 children and youth aged 5-19 who had a sports-related brain injury between 1990 and 2009. The results appeared in the journal PLOS ONE.
What they found was that, in Canada, over half of the brain injuries sustained by youth were from hockey (44.3%). And within this subset the cause of the injuries were pretty clear, player-to-player contact and contact with a goal posts or boards. Thus, the solution is relatively simple – better pads and padding on goals and boards.
The data also demonstrated significant percentages in terms of head injuries among soccer, baseball and softball, and football players. And again, the cause of head injuries from these sports was also fairly clear: kids standing too close to the batter or being hit with a ball, or players colliding in soccer and football.
Ultimately, what the study has shown is that there is a significant opportunity to learn from this data and adopt better rules and safety policies to make sure that our kids are safe when they take to the field.
If you would like to read more about the study and its findings click here.