Health insurance claims for concussions have more than doubled between 2007 and 2014, according to preliminary research by Dr. Alan Zhang from the University of California, San Francisco.
The most significant increase in concussions was for children between the ages of 10 and 14. The next highest age group increase was for those 15 to 19 years of age. These two groups combined accounted for one-third of those who suffered from concussions.
An estimated 248,000 children in the United States visit the emergency room every year because of a concussion that is related to sports or other recreational activities. However, that statistic only considers those taken to the emergency room, so researchers do not have a clear picture of how many children actually sustain concussions annually.
Common Causes of Concussions in Children and Teens
Although the causes of concussions in Zhang's study are unknown, many head injuries are from organized sports and other physical activities. Bike riding and skateboarding are also common causes.
Researchers recommend that parents encourage children to wear protective gear when skating, skateboarding or biking. Helmets in higher contact sports like football are always a good idea as well. Zhang wants to encourage kids to be active, but also safe.
Potential Reasons for the Increase in Concussions
Researchers are unsure if the cause is a true rise in the number of occurrences or if medical professionals are just diagnosing the condition more often. It could also be a combination of both factors.
Since 2007, the first year of the study, state and federal governments have focused on concussion awareness for children and teens. Most states, including Tennessee have now enacted laws that target concussions in student-athletes.
Zhang presented his research at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's annual meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
If you or a loved one has suffered a concussion as a result of negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced Knoxville personal injury attorney at Greg Coleman Law for a free consultation.
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