Traumatic brain injuries related to consumer products – mainly sports equipment – accounted for 12.3% of all consumer product-related children’s emergency room visits reported in the U.S. in 2019, a dramatic increase from 4.5% in 2000, according to a study published Thursday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, with incidence rates declining for boys since 2012, but not among girls.
The number of traumatic brain injuries from consumer products among children aged 5 to 18 that were treated in emergency departments increased by 3.6% from 2000 to 2008, followed by a 13.3% jump from 2008 to 2012 and a 2% drop between 2012 to 2019.
While boys had the highest incident rate of equipment-related traumatic brain injuries treated in 2019–681 per 100,000 vs. 376 per 100,000 for girls–girls have had a higher average annual increase in cases over the study span (5.1% vs. 2.8% for boys), and cases have declined 2.7% for boys since 2012 while among girls they’ve risen another 0.7% since 2011.
Some 27% of consumer product-related traumatic brain injuries that led to emergency department visits by children aged 5 to 18 from 2000 to 2019 occurred in sports and recreation areas, followed by at home (24%), schools (19.9%), and streets and highways (4.5%), according to the study.
Overall, football was the most common activity during which consumer-product-related brain injuries that led to emergency department visits occurred, with 734,967 reported cases, followed by bicycling (469,285) and basketball (396,613), researchers found.
Boys aged 11 to 13 made up the highest incidence rate (734 cases per 100,000 people), followed by boys ages