Each year, an estimated 801,000 people visit an emergency department for a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A new study by the CDC explores the findings of data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP) over a four-year period (2016-2019) on the rates for head injuries in the Emergency Department (ED) throughout the seasons.
The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) is operated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC). The system collects data from a sample of approximately 100 hospitals with 24 hour emergency department services. NEISS-AIP data are collected at 66 of these hospitals.
The results found October to be the highest occurring month for head injury evaluations in the ED and February to have the lowest number. These TBIs are for all mechanisms of injury, including due to sports.
The report states “Among males, children ages 0–4 years were responsible for the highest rates of head injury-related ED visits each year, while in females the highest rates were seen in both children ages 0–4 and adults ages 65 and older. The highest number of head injuries evaluated in the ED due to sports and recreation were seen in September and October. Head injury-related ED visits due to sports and recreation were much more common in individuals ages 5–17 than any other age group.”
So what are some best practices to keeping you and your kids safe?
- Wear the appropriate gear, especially helmets where the activity warrants it. Since 2011, Virginia Tech has been offering unbiased ratings of helmets, by sport. Get the best helmet you can afford.
- Understand that concussions don’t just occur in football, and they don’t even just occur in sports. They can happen due to a slip and fall. Watch your step, and avoid slippery or icy areas. Even if you or your child are not hit by a person in a sport, hitting the ground can result in a concussion
- We’ve covered the signs of concussion in a previous blog post. Know them and know what to do if you suspect one.
It’s fall, but don’t experience one! Be careful out there!
Publication: Are there seasonal patterns for emergency department visits for head injuries in the USA? Findings from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program | Injury Prevention (bmj.com)