Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (Concussion) in Infants, Toddlers, Children and Adolescents
In the Forensic Science Newsletter of May 15, we discussed Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (Concussion) in adults. In this issue of the Forensic Science Newsletter we are going to discuss mild TBI (concussion) in infants, toddlers, children and adolescents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately four million sports and recreation related concussions per year, with many more occurring but not recognized or reported. When you consider the age group of fourteen to twenty-four years, the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury are sports, the first being motor vehicular accidents. Research done by the New York Times has shown at least fifty youth football players have died or acquired serious head injuries since 1997. Another study estimated the chances of a young athlete in a contact sport experiencing a concussion is 20% each year.
Historically, as stated above, most concussions were thought to be due to falls or motor vehicular accidents. However, since the New York Times study, more recent studies of children and adolescents indicate most concussions occur during sporting events, with the greatest risk during competitions. Although there is no definitive data on whether males or females are at greater risk of concussions, different mechanisms of injury have been suggested. Males seem prone to concussion through player-to-player contact, whereas concussions in females tend to be caused by contact with the playing surface or equipment.
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