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Big increase in sports brain injuries

Big increase in sports brain injuries
Stanley Herring (R), Chairman, Subcommittee on Education and Advocacy, Head, Neck and Spine Committee of the NFL and Team Physician for the.Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners, Sean Morey (C), former NFL wide receiver and current Executive Board Member NFL Players Association, and Gerry Gioia, Chief of Pediatric Neuropsychology at the Children's National Medical Center in Rockville, MD, testify during a House Education and Labor Committee hearing on the Protecting Students Athletes from Concussions Act, in Washington on September 23, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

ATLANTA, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- There was a 60 percent increase in youth treated for traumatic brain injuries from 2001 to 2009, mainly from bicycling and football, U.S. officials say.

During each year of the eight-year period, approximately 173,285 children and adolescents from birth to age 19 years were treated for non-fatal sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries in U.S. emergency departments, a report by the Center's of Disease Control and Prevention said.

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"We believe that one reason for the increase in emergency department visits among children and adolescents may be a result of the growing awareness among parents and coaches and the public as a whole, about the need for individuals with a suspected traumatic brain injuries to be seen by a healthcare professional," Linda C. Degutis, director of CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said in a statement.

The report said the number of sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries emergency department visits varied by age group and gender:

-- 71 percent of all visits were among males.

-- 70.5 percent of visits were among those age 10-19.

-- Children from birth to age 9 commonly sustained injuries during playground activities or bicycling.

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Data for those age 10-19 years varied also by activity and gender. Injuries among males most often occurred while playing football or bicycling, while females sustained injuries most often while playing soccer or basketball or while bicycling, the report said.

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