Each year, about 2.5 million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI). About 75% of these are concussions or other mild forms of TBI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“You don’t need to hit your head to sustain a concussion,” says A. Michael Henrie, DO, a sports medicine physician at University of Utah Health. “Impact to the truck or neck can transfer forces to the brain, causing a concussion.”
Concussions are the most common type of brain injury. Take caution with these important facts about concussions:
Leading causes of TBI
- Car accidents
- Getting struck by or against an object
Recognize the symptoms
Concussion symptoms usually fall into these four categories:
- Cognitive: Difficulty concentrating, thinking clearly, or remembering information
- Physical: Headache, blurry vision, nausea, fatigue, or sensitivity to light
- Emotional: Irritability, nervousness, anxiety, or sadness
- Sleep: Trouble falling asleep or sleeping more or less than usual
Highest risk age groups
- Children age 0 to 4
- Teens age 15 to 19
- Adults older than 65
"Concussions are common in children participating in sports," Henrie says. Follow these three tips to help keep your kids safe when playing sports:
- Use appropriate protective equipment, such as helmets.
- Adhere to sport rules and praise good sportsmanship.
- Recognize and respond quickly to possible concussions.