I read yesterday that childhood concussions have increased dramatically over the past 15 years.
Measuring the period from 1997 to 2007, the number of teenagers 14 – 19 who were treated for concussion tripled, and the number of cases from ages 8-13 doubled.
This was attributed to a combination of increases in impact sports (not only team sports, but presumably skateboarding, etc.) and increased awareness leading people to seek treatment.
Given the recent reports of head trauma in pro athletes causing cognitive damage, this is a trend we need to take seriously. Proper headgear and limitations on the contact allowed in school sports need to be enforced.
Another article reported that a large number of teenagers already have measurable hearing loss, due to high volume use of music headsets. Once again, this is a preventable problem, with proper education and guidance.
It ain’t easy being a kid these days…