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More Kids Who Play Basketball Suffering Head Injuries
Date:9/13/2010

percent, the researchers found.

The most common other injuries were sprains in the legs -- 30.3 percent, particularly of the ankle (23.8 percent).

Boys were more likely to suffer cuts, fractures and dislocations, while girls were more likely to suffer concussions and knee injuries. Children 15 to 19 years of age were three times more likely to injure their knees and ankles, while younger children, aged 5 to 10, were more likely to suffer concussions, fractures and dislocations, the study found.

McKenzie noted that concussions in children can have significant and lasting effects. "It can affect their health, memory, their learning -- ultimately their survival," she said.

The problem of concussions is one that is plaguing all children's team sports, McKenzie said. But, she added, the increase may not be an actual increase, but rather better recognition of the problem and more awareness of the signs and symptoms of concussion.

Dr. Lyle Micheli, head of the sports medicine division at Children's Hospital Boston and an associate professor of orthopedics at Harvard Medical School, said the study findings were "no surprise."

Micheli agreed that children's sports are being played more aggressively, which is one factor in the rise in the number of injuries, particularly concussions. "If you did the same study for soccer I think you would see even more of a trend," he said.

Children are also playing more sports in school and after school in sports leagues, which boosts the chances for injury, Micheli said. "Parents have to be thoughtful about their objectives for their kids in sports. Are they looking for healthful exercise? Are they looking for an activity that can give them friendships? But how much is enough and how much is too much? That's the real challenge for every family," he said.

When sports starts to rule kids' lives, that can strain a child's physical well-being, Micheli said. "We are certainly seeing a lot more ove
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