Injuries and concussions among young children, ages 5-11, playing sports in recreational leagues in Florida

PLoS One -


Liller, K. D., Morris, B., Yang, Y., Bubu, O. M., Perich, B., & Fillion, J..



BACKGROUND: The specific research aims of this study included: 1) Conduct an epidemiologic analysis of recreational sports injuries among 1500 children, ages 5-11 in Florida: and 2) Utilize the computerized pediatric concussion tool from ImPACT Applications, Inc. for baseline and follow-up testing to better understand these injuries. This research followed a prospective surveillance design utilizing a large cohort of children, ages, 5-11, who play recreational football, soccer, and baseball/softball in Florida. The study venue was a large athletic facility in Hillsborough County, Florida. The sports observed were soccer (girls’ and boys’), baseball, softball, and football. Internal and external advisory boards were consulted throughout the study. METHODS: Certified Athletic Trainers (ATCs) were hired to use High School Reporting Information Online (RIO) for injuries and the Ipad-administered pediatric concussion tool developed by ImPACT Applications, Inc for baseline/follow-up concussion data. RESULTS: Over the course of the project, 26 RIO-reported injuries were reported. Football and soccer produced the greatest rate of injuries. There were 12 concussions which comprised nearly half of all the RIO injuries (46%). We conducted 882 baseline concussion tests and 13 follow-up tests over the 2 years. CONCLUSIONS: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time data have been collected and reported on sports injuries in the study population. Future studies built on these findings will allow for the development of targeted guidelines and interventions for coaches, players, and parents so sports injury-related morbidity and mortality decrease in our youngest athletes.

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