Kids' ER concussion visits up 60 pct over decade

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Health officials say emergency room visits by children with concussions from sports and recreational activities rose 60 percent in the past decade. They said that’s probably because parents and coaches are more careful about getting these head injuries treated.

Bicycling and football were the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of youths 19 and younger is based on a national survey of 66 hospital emergency departments. About 250,000 brain injury visits were reported in 2009, up from about 150,000 in 2001.

Experts think increased awareness in recent years about the dangers of concussion prompted the increase. Trips to the ER rose dramatically but hospitalizations did not, so more of the recent cases were milder injuries.