How Common Are Sports-Related Head Injuries?

How Common Are Sports-Related Head Injuries?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 2.8 million traumatic brain injuries (TBI) sustained in the U.S. each year. About 10% of these injuries are the result of sports and other recreational activities. Among children, however, sports and recreational activities contribute to about 21% of all TBIs.

April is National Youth Sports Safety Month, an annual campaign dedicated to raising awareness on a national level to help parents, children, and coaches learn how to avoid injuries. To do our part during this campaign, we would like to help you understand more about the prevalence of sports-related head injuries and what can be done to keep children safe.

Most Common Sports-Related Head Injuries

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) tracks sports and recreation injuries each year. Data from this agency shows that there were about 454,400 sports-related head injuries treated in emergency departments across the U.S. in 2018.

Here are the most common activities that contributed to these numbers, in order from highest number to lowest number of incidents:

  1. Cycling
  2. Football
  3. Baseball/softball
  4. Basketball
  5. Powered vehicles (dune-buggies, go-carts, mini bikes)
  6. Soccer
  7. Skateboards
  8. Exercise equipment
  9. Horseback riding
  10. Golf
  11. Hockey
  12. Trampolines
  13. Rugby/lacrosse
  14. Skating
  15. Playground equipment

Mild traumatic brain injuries, also known as concussions, are the most common type of sports-related head injury. While concussions often heal on their own with time and rest, repeated injuries can lead to permanent brain damage as well as physical, emotional, social, and behavioral deficits.

Read our latest blog to learn more about the dangers of repeated concussions.

Reducing the Risk of Sports-Related Brain Injuries in Children

Whether your young child or your teenager is involved in sports activities, there are steps you can take to keep them safe and reduce their risk of sports-related concussions:

  • Know the warning signs of concussion to look for.
  • When in doubt, take your child to see a doctor.
  • If they do sustain a concussion, immediately stop them from practicing or playing.
  • Discuss with your child’s doctor before you let them return to sports after a concussion.

At Kornfeld Law, we are committed to helping improve safety across many areas of our communities. We also represent those who are injured due to the negligence of other people. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Seattle brain injury attorneys at (425) 657-5255 if you would like to discuss your potential case during a free consultation.


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