The Doc’s Corner
Welcome back to The Doc’s Corner! When we last spoke, we were talking about injuries, more specifically concussions in high school sports. I wanted to pick up from where that article left off. Take a seat everyone, the Doc is in…
I saw a headline the other day that I found troubling. The headline said “Concussion Statistics in High School Sports Account for 1-10 sports injuries; Concussion rates double in decade”. Doubled in a decade? Did anyone else just say WOW like I did!
After reading that headline, I wondered how many concussions that was. Let’s face it, everything is relevant. If the average number of concussions went from 25 to 50 over a 10 year period it might not be that big of a deal. So I wanted to dig into the numbers a little bit to see how serious this really is.
Hey, I want to know. I have an 11 year old son that plays sports. Stuff like this concerns me.
An estimated 1.6 million-3.8 million sports related concussions in the United States Every year! With numbers like that, it’s no wonder the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concluded that sports concussions in the United States have reached an “epidemic level”.
The CDC went on to say during a period of 2001-2009, children and youth ages 5-18 years increased 62% to a total of 2.6 million sports-related emergency department visits annually, of which 6.5% (roughly 173,285) involved a traumatic brain injury, including a concussion. The rate of traumatic brain injuries increased 57% most likely due to increased awareness of the importance of early diagnosis of traumatic brain injuries.
For young people ages 15-24, sports are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury behind only motor vehicle crashes. Think about those statistics for a minute. They are mind boggling! But there’s more.
At least one player sustains a mild concussion in nearly EVERY American football game played! There are approximately 67,000 diagnosed concussions in high school football every year. According to research conducted by The New York Times, at least 50 youth football players (High school or younger) from different states have either died or sustained serious head injuries on the field since 1997.
The more research I do on this topic, the worse it seems to get. I am pro-high school sports, especially football. I can teach my son a lot of things, but there are life-long lessons he can only learn by playing sports and being part of a team. It frightens me to know that it is a FACT that of your child plays an organized, team sport; they have a greater chance of being injured then not being injured.
High school sports teach children the value of being a part of something greater then themselves. Sports teach them the importance of putting the team goals over their individual goals. Being a part of a team means giving 100% all of the time. These are very important, life-long lessons every child should learn, but, as a father I have to ask, at what cost?