There has been an alarming increase in the number of emergency-room visits for head injuries in kids in the past five years. In fact, a new analysis by theAmerican Association of Neurological Surgeons indicates that this number has gone up by 43 percent nationwide.
According to doctors, this increase shows that parents and coaches are becoming more aware that head injuries are serious conditions. Though any sport can pose a hazard, some are more hazardous than others.
Biking results in the greatest numbers of ER visits. About 37,000 children under 14 go to the ER with head trauma. Football, skateboarding and scooter accidents are also on the rise. Software technology for detecting concussions has long used by the NFL, NHL and even NASCAR. Now, these mental drills are trickling down to the high school level.
The brain is fragile in the minutes, hours, and days after a concussion. Even small changes in blood flow can kill brain cells in this vulnerable period. And though not every hit to the head justifies a trip to the ER, doctors say that sporting events should have adults on hand who are able to detect the signs of a concussion, such as the list below.
The following symptoms are cause for concern:
Nausea and vomiting
Sensitivity to light and noise
Problems with memory or concentration
Blurred vision or double-vision
Feeling really fatigued or tired