With the arrival of summer and better weather, more Connecticut residents are taking part in sports and recreational activities. Unfortunately, these activities can lead to serious injuries.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that at least 7 million sports and recreation-related injuries occur in the United States each year. More than half of these injuries occur among children, youth and young adults aged 5 to 24 years.
According to results from the 2007 Connecticut School Health Survey, administered by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) and the state Department of Education, 40% of high school students reported that they were injured and had to seek medical treatment while playing sports, exercising or being physically active during the previous year.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body that results in rapid movement to the head that disrupts the function of the brain. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild”, i.e. a brief change in mental status or consciousness, to “severe”, i.e. an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. All concussions are serious even though many do not result in loss of consciousness. Parents, coaches and athletes should learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion and seek medical attention right away. In Connecticut, from 2007 to 2013 there were 22,047 hospital in-patient discharges and about 40,096 emergency department encounters from 2007 to 2012. The emergency department costs totaled over $138 million.
State Health Officials encourage safe participation in sports and recreational activities as an important part of a healthy, physically active lifestyle at any age. The CT DPH recommends taking the following steps when taking part in sports and recreational activities to help keep you safe and prevent injury:
- Use appropriate protective gear, such as helmets, wrist guards, and knee and elbow pads for all sports activities;
- Wear helmets when bicycling;
- Make sure that playground equipment is installed over shock absorbing surfaces;
- Learn and practice the skills relevant for each sport or activity;
- Follow safety rules for each sport or recreational activity; and
- Adults should model safe behavior for children, including wearing helmets and following the rules.
CDC WISQARS website: http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html
For more information, please call The Office of Injury Prevention (860) 509-8251
For more information, please call
The Office of Injury Prevention