Close to 2 million U.S. children and teens may suffer concussions annually, say researchers who add that the prevalence of head injuries among American youth has been underestimated for years. Using data from hospitals, doctor visits and athletic trainers, the investigators estimated between 1 million and 1.9 million concussions occur annually among kids aged 18 and younger due to sports and recreation injuries. But more than half a million of these head injuries aren’t seen in emergency rooms or by physicians, which is why official tallies are usually too low, they noted.
“There is a lot of uncertainty in how many concussions from sports and recreation occur each year because many concussions are not reported,” explained lead researcher Dr. Mersine Bryan, a pediatrician at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Better surveillance for concussions due to sports and recreational activities is needed, so we can understand how kids are getting concussions and ways we can prevent concussions,” Bryan added.