Heads Up on Head Health

Head’s Up! Keep your kids Head Smart

A brain injury is any illness or trauma that disturbs the structure or functioning of the brain. Brain Injuries can be mild, like those from a concussion or they can range to the severe and life-changing consequences of traumatic injuries like motor vehicle accidents or non-traumatic causes like drowning, infections, tumors and strokes.

Brain injury by the numbers

  • In 2010, about 2.5 million emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, or deaths were associated with TBI—either alone or in combination with other injuries—in the United States.
  • TBI contributed to the deaths of more than 50,000 people.
  • TBI was a diagnosis in more than 280,000 hospitalizations and 2.2 million ED visits. These consisted of TBI alone or TBI in combination with other injuries.
  • Over the past decade (2001–2010), while rates of TBI-related ED visits increased by 70%, hospitalization rates only increased by 11% and death rates decreased by 7%.
  • In 2009, an estimated 248,418 children (age 19 or younger) were treated in U.S. EDs for sports and recreation-related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or TBI.
  • TBI in children 0-14 will result in 435,000 emergency room visits, 37,000 hospitalizations, and 2,685 deaths this year in the US
  • From 2001 to 2009, the rate of ED visits for sports and recreation-related injuries with a diagnosis of concussion or TBI, alone or in combination with other injuries, rose 57% among children (age 19 or younger)
  • The leading causes of TBI are Falls (35%); car crashes (17%), workplace accidents (16%), assults (10%), and other (21%).
  • It is estimated that half of all organized sports-related injures among children can be prevented by teaching and using safe sports techniques.
  • A concussion is a brain injury; a child who has sustained a concussion is 4 times more likely to experience another

Of all injuries, TBI is the leading cause of death and disabilty in children and young adults in this country. St. Mary’s has teamed up with schools, coaches, parents, and healthcare colleagues to help educate children and families on the causes, treatment and prevention of brain injuries.