Jul 18, 2016Research Shows Increases
A preliminary study shows reported concussions among children and teenagers have skyrocketed in the U.S. The study was drawn from more than 8.8 million health insurance records from 2007 to 2014.
According to an article from MedlinePlus, diagnoses for concussion increased by 243 percent for 10- to 14-year olds. For older teenagers, a 187 percent increase was seen. Across all ages included in the study, the rate of concussion diagnoses increased by 160 percent.
The causes of injury were not included in the study. As a result, it’s difficult to say whether the rate of injury increased or if concussions were just being reported more frequently. Still Kenneth Podell, a neuropsychologist and director of Houston Methodist Concussion Center, who was not involved with the study, was pleased by the results.
“I see this as a positive trend,” he said. “We’re finally taking this condition as seriously as we should.”
Along with laws dealing with concussion for young athletes, being aware of concussion symptoms—such as headache, dizziness, nausea, ringing ears, confusion, and fatigue—has become increasingly important. Both of these factors may have contributed to the increase in concussion rates. Conversely, the increase may be due to more injuries.
“Is this because more kids are outside being active?” Kenneth Podell, a neuropsychologist and director of Houston Methodist Concussion Center, said. “We don’t have the data to know.”