According to a study conducted by the independent, nonprofit organization Fair Health, the number of concussion diagnoses in children and teens under the age of 22 increased by an incredible 500 percent between the year of 2010 through 2014.
National statistics reveal that between one to two million of concussions received by children and teens every year are recreation and sports related. Anywhere between 500,000 to one million of these injuries go untreated.
The study also found that the months of September and October have the highest number of concussions reported for those under 22 years of age. Not surprisingly, these two months represent the start of football season.
Almost half of these concussion victims fall between the ages of 15 to 18 years of age. These are also the ages that most teens are in high school, which could suggest that one of the greatest risks of concussion for teens are high school sports. The second highest group were middle school sports level (between the ages of 11 and 14 years) and the group with the lowest risk were those at the college sports level (19 to 22 years old).
Gender also appears to play a role in the rate of concussion injuries. Males tend to suffer from concussions more than females do, especially between the ages of five through 10. According to the statistics, 68 percent of concussion victims in that age range were boys, while only 32 percent were girls. The percentage shifts, however, for concussion victims between the ages of 19 and 22. Fifty-six percent of victims were women, while only 44 percent of victims were men.
Even a mild concussion can have a profound effect on its victim, which is why it is critical for diagnosis and recovery. Lingering side effects of a concussion can include concentration and memory issues, dizziness and lightheadedness, headaches, sleep disorders, and audible and visual sensitivities.
Concussions are now being examined at a level we have never seen before, and if you have a child that plays any type of sport where a concussion could occur — which includes most sports — as a parent, you should take advantage of the information that is available and educate yourself on the issues.