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What Sports and Recreational Activities Offer the Most Risk of Head Injury?

In 2008, the following activities resulted in the highest number of head injuries for all ages:

  • Cycling
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball and softball
  • Riding powered recreational vehicles such as dune buggies, go-carts, and mini bikes

According to the Brain Injury Association of America, the five leading activities responsible for concussions in children and adolescents aged 5 to 18 years of age are:

  • Cycling
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Playground activities
  • Soccer

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Brain Injury?

Signs of a TBI include:

Indications that a head injury is more serious than a concussion and requires emergency treatment include:

  • Changes in size of pupils
  • Clear or bloody fluid draining from the nose, mouth, or ears
  • Convulsions
  • Distorted facial features
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Facial bruising
  • Fracture in the skull or face
  • Impaired hearing, smell, taste, or vision
  • Inability to move one or more limbs
  • Irritability
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Low breathing rate
  • Restlessness, clumsiness, or lack of coordination
  • Severe headache
  • Slurred speech or blurred vision
  • Stiff neck or vomiting
  • Sudden worsening of symptoms after initial improvement
  • Swelling at the site of the injury
  • Persistent vomiting

What's the Proper Response to a Concussion or Other Sports-Related Brain Injury?

If you think you may have a concussion or suspect that someone else has one, the most important step to take is to prevent further injury. Stop whatever activity you are involved in and tell someone you think you may have been injured. Then get medical attention. If you're playing as part of a team, ask to be taken out of the game and tell the coach what happened. If a fellow player has signs of being confused or a sudden loss of coordination, be sure to report this to a coach. If you are coaching a team and you notice a potential injury, take the person out of the game, and see that the person gets medical care.

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