Nineteen per cent of the youth who suffered brain injuries got them during soccer, with most in the 10 to 14 or 15 to19 age group. In these age ranges, the most common cause of injury was being struck by another player, kicks to the head or head-on-head collisions. In the younger group, age five to nine, players were more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury from striking a surface or a goal post than those in older groups. "There's a really straightforward solution here," Dr. Cusimano said. "Padding the goal posts could have potentially prevented a large number of these brain injuries in young children."
The results also found that the youngest age group was at the highest risk for getting seriously injured in baseball. Most of the 15.3 per cent of injuries occurred in children under the age of 14, with 45 per cent of them in children under nine.
Ball and bat injuries were most common, with the majority of injuries caused because the players stood too close to the batter or bat and were not supervised by an adult.
"These results give us a very specific prevention message for kids under nine who play baseball: make helmets and supervision a mandatory," said Dr. Cusimano. "The younger the child, the more supervision they need when using things like bats and balls. Simple rules around not being close to the batter can be taught to children and adults."
Football and rugby accounted for 12.9 per cent 5.6 per cent of injuries respectively, and the majority of them were caused by tackling.
Basketball made up 11.6 per cent of injuries, mostly caused by player-to-player elbowing, which increased as players got older.
"There is a real opportunity for prevention here," Dr. Cusimano said. "Having educational programs, proper equipment, rules and other incentives that support a culture of safety in sports should be a mandate of
|Contact: Kate Taylor|
St. Michael's Hospital