Wednesday, October 02, 2013 ER Visits for Child Traumatic Brain Injuries Up 92% in 10 Years A recently released study cites a dramatic rise in the number of children being treated for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in emergency rooms, but the cause for the increase may be harder to pin down. Increased public awareness of concussion symptoms and treatment, however, may be one important reason behind the rise. The study, available in the October issue of Pediatrics, found that while visits for TBI rose by 92% between 2002 and 2011, the rate of hospitalization remained relatively unchanged—about 10%. Researchers involved in the study point to a variety of possible reasons for the rise, including wider involvement in sports activities and an increased intensity of those activities by children who are generally bigger and faster than previous generations. Researchers found that skateboarding, inline skating, skiing, and sledding were the activities with the highest admission rates. The findings also contained some good news. Because the study also showed that injury severity actually decreased as visits increased, authors theorize that the biggest reason for the rise may be due to a better-educated public, able to recognize the potential signs of concussion and aware of the need for quick treatment. Physical therapists can access a range of information on concussion, including the advocacy work being taken on by APTA, by visiting the APTA website.