Health and Fitness

Most Youth With Sports and Recreation Related Concussions Not Seen in Health Care Settings

Elk Grove Village, IL–(ENEWSPF)–June 21, 2016.  A study in the July 2016 Pediatrics estimates that 1.1 million to 1.9 million U.S. children and adolescents under age 18 experience sports and recreation-related concussions each year, the majority of which aren’t seen in health care settings. For the study, “Sports- and Recreation-Related Concussions in United States Youth” (published online June 20), researchers used three national databases to determine the number of sports and recreation-related concussions seen in outpatient settings (377,978), during hospitalization (2,886 to 4,936), and in emergency departments (115,479 to 166,929).

Concussions were considered sports-related if there was any mention of a sport, regardless of whether injury resulted from a fall, collision or other mechanism; they were counted as recreation-related if the injury involved activities such as bicycling or if they occurred in recreational settings such as a playground. The researchers then added to these numbers concussions reported exclusively by certified athletic trainers — accounting for 22.5 percent to 52.7 percent of sports and recreation-related concussions from high school sports or between 511,590 and 1,240,972 cases — to generate the most accurate and precise national estimate to date of sports and recreation-related concussions.

Study authors emphasized the need for providers in all health care settings to be trained in concussion care and for improved surveillance that includes recreational sources of concussion to better understand the epidemiology of youth brain trauma.


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 64,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit