Nonfatal traumatic brain injuries related to sports and recreation activities among persons aged ≤19 years--United States, 2001-2009

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011 Oct 7;60(39):1337-42.


Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) from participation in sports and recreation activities have received increased public awareness, with many states and the federal government considering or implementing laws directing the response to suspected brain injury. Whereas public health programs promote the many benefits of sports and recreation activities, those benefits are tempered by the risk for injury. During 2001--2005, an estimated 207,830 emergency department (ED) visits for concussions and other TBIs related to sports and recreation activities were reported annually, with 65% of TBIs occurring among children aged 5--18 years. Compared with adults, younger persons are at increased risk for TBIs with increased severity and prolonged recovery. To assess and characterize TBIs from sports and recreation activities among children and adolescents, CDC analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System--All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP) for the period 2001--2009. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that an estimated 173,285 persons aged ≤19 years were treated in EDs annually for nonfatal TBIs related to sports and recreation activities. From 2001 to 2009, the number of annual TBI-related ED visits increased significantly, from 153,375 to 248,418, with the highest rates among males aged 10--19 years. By increasing awareness of TBI risks from sports and recreation, employing proper technique and protective equipment, and quickly responding to injuries, the incidence, severity, and long-term negative health effects of TBIs among children and adolescents can be reduced.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance
  • Recreation*
  • Risk
  • United States / epidemiology