Brain injuries among young basketball players are on the rise. This was according to a pair of reports in the new edition of Pediatrics, which came out on Monday.
One report summarized findings from an 11-year study, during which researchers monitored the number of injuries and hospital visits among young basketball players. What they found was concerning.
Between 1996 and 2007, hospital and emergency room visits on account of basketball-related head injuries doubled for boys and tripled for girls. In total, close to 109,000 instances of head trauma and brain injuries were reported over the course of the study.
In 2007, alone, 12,000 boys and girls were treated for head injuries received on the court.
The second report in Pediatrics revealed that basketball players between the ages of 8 and 19 years old recorded the second highest percentage of athletic concussions among athletes in that age range. Football led the way with 22 percent.
Basketball was associated with close to 10 percent of concussions.
While sports like football still receive the most attention regarding the risk of head injury and traumatic brain injury, awareness of the risks associated with serious head injuries is growing for all sports.
For parents and coaches, this increase in awareness and knowledge of head and brain injuries is necessary. This is happening, too, but there is plenty of room to expand initiatives that address these issues.
- In Basketball, Danger of Head Trauma (The New York Times)