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Football Leads Youth Sports Injuries

But Head Injuries Strike Many Other Young Athletes, Too

Sports-Related Brain Injuries

The study shows that children and teens aged 5-18 account for nearly 60% of people treated for sports-related traumatic brain injuries at U.S. hospitals from 2001 to 2005.

That translates to almost 135,000 kids and teens in that age range who went to emergency departments due to sports-related brain injuries during the years studied.

Activities associated with the greatest number of those emergency department visits were bicycling, football, basketball, playground activities, and soccer, according to the CDC.

The findings, which come from a U.S. hospital database, don't show whether the patients were wearing helmets while biking or playing football.

The CDC urges athletes, parents, and coaches to seek medical care for any brain injury, even those that seem relatively mild, due to the risk of lingering effects.

Athletes shouldn't return to play without approval from a doctor or health official, the CDC also notes.

"These injuries are very serious and should never be ignored," says CDC Director Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, in a CDC news release.

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