Objective: Outline the annual incidence of mild traumatic brain injury in children, aged 0-17 years, using the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine classification and record the presence of new symptoms up to six months after injury.
Settings and methods: The study population comprised all the children in the age group of 0-17 years (a total of 40,984) in an administrative district in south-western Sweden. All the individuals registered in the Brain Injury Register, during the periods 1 January to 30 June 1999 and 1 April to 30 September 2000, fulfilling the inclusion criteria defined by American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, were included. New symptoms occurring three to six months after the injury were recorded using a mailed 21-item questionnaire.
Results: 192 children fulfilled the criteria, yielding an annual incidence of 468/100,000 (95% CI 402-535/100,000). Boys accounted for 57 per cent and fall injuries accounted for 61 per cent of the external causes. New symptoms were reported by 24 per cent of those who answered the questionnaire.
Conclusion: This study revealed that the annual incidence of mild traumatic brain injury in children was almost as high as that among adults in the same area and population.