As many as 2 million concussions from sports or play activities occur in U.S. children and teens each year and many receive no treatment according to a new study led by pediatrician Dr. Mersine Bryan of Seattle Children’s Hospital. It was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. The estimate is based on 2013 data from emergency room visits, hospitalizations, doctor visits, concussion reports made to high school athletic trainers, and information from previous concussion studies. The researchers said data suggest between 1 million and 2 million concussions related to sports and recreation occur in U.S. kids each year. Of those, they estimated that half a million or more kids received no treatment, using surveys of athletes who were asked if they had experienced head bumps and concussion symptoms but didn’t report them during the season, Bryan said.
A CDC study published last month said playground-related concussions have also increased in recent years. Other research has also suggested that kids’ concussion rates may be rising, but some experts say the apparent trend may simply reflect growing awareness about the potential seriousness of concussions.