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Sport and Recreation-related Concussions and Other Traumatic Brain Injuries Among Canada's Children and Youth Published: ()
Sports and recreational activities have many social and health benefits and are therefore an important part of the lives of many children and youth in Canada.It's also important to play smart and play safe to minimize the risk of injury.
Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are more common in some sports and recreation-related activities than others, and can range from mild to severe. A concussion is a form of mild traumatic brain injury, and usually happens because of a hit to the head, neck, face or another part of the body, causing the brain to move inside the skull and become injuredFootnote 1. The short- and long-term consequences of concussion and other TBI can be severe — especially for children and youth — although concussion signs and symptoms usually resolve within 10 days to four weeks, and children and youth often take longer to recover than adults Footnote 1.
Dive into the Data
What do the graphs and tables show?
These tools are interactive snapshots of statistics about sports and recreation-related concussions and other TBIs among Canada's children and youth aged 5 to 19 years. The information is from the electronic database of the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (eCHIRPP) for the years 2011 to 2017.
The bar graph shows sports and recreation-related TBIs compared to all other injuries for your selected age group and sex. Use the "Switch to" button to toggle between the number of TBIs and the percentage of TBIs. Hover-over or tab to a specific sport/activity in the interactive bar graph to view more information.
The bee swarm graph shows the percentage (%) of concussions and other TBIs for your selected age group and sex, compared to all sports and recreation-related injuries among all age groups and both sexes combined, i.e. how your selection fits into the "bigger picture".
Use the drop-down lists to change the graphs to look at:
- Results for specific age groups
- Results for males vs. females
The data tables show:
- The data that were used to create the bar graph and bee swarm
- The breakdown of all TBIs in two subcategories: concussions and non-concussion TBIs
Traumatic brain injuries compared to all injuries in a given sport among aged (eCHIRPP, 2011-2017)
Data tables with concussion breakdown
The tables below contain all of the data in the beeswarm and bar graph. They also include a breakdown of all traumatic brain injuries in two subcategories: concussions and other TBI's.
Table 1. Number and percentage of sports and recreation-related concussions and other TBIs, males aged 5 to 9 years, eCHIRPP, 2011 to 2017
Table 2. Number and percentage of sports and recreation-related concussions and other TBIs, females aged 5 to 9 years, eCHIRPP, 2011 to 2017
Table 3. Number and percentage of sports and recreation-related concussions and other TBIs, males aged 10 to 14 years, eCHIRPP, 2011 to 2017
Table 4. Number and percentage of sports and recreation-related concussions and other TBIs, females aged 10 to 14 years, eCHIRPP, 2011 to 2017
Table 5. Number and percentage of sports and recreation-related concussions and other TBIs, males aged 15 to 19 years, eCHIRPP, 2011 to 2017
Table 6. Number and percentage of sports and recreation-related concussions and other TBIs, females aged 15 to 19 years, eCHIRPP, 2011 to 2017
- On average, concussions make up 93% of the sports and recreation-related TBIs among children and youth that are reported to CHIRPP.
- Overall, contact sports were the most common sports and recreation-related activities with reported concussions or other TBIs, for both sexes and in all age groups.
- Ice hockey was the most common sports and recreation-related activity with reported concussions or other TBIs among males aged 5 to 14 years, but rugby was the most common for the older males.
- Ringette was the most common sports and recreation-related activity with reported concussions or other TBIs among females aged 10 to 19. It is also worth noting that among females in all age groups shown, equestrian sport/horseback riding was also among the most common non-contact sport with reported concussions or other TBIs.
- Sledding/tobogganing was among the most common sports and recreation-related activities with reported concussions or other TBIs for children aged 5 to 9 years (3rd most common after ice hockey and physical education class among boys, and 2nd after ice hockey among girls).
- All-terrain vehicle (ATV) use was the leading cause of moderate to more severe TBIs** (i.e., showed the lowest percentage of concussions among all TBIs) among almost all children and youth, with the exception of females aged 5 to 9 (for whom it was equestrian sport/horseback riding, see Table 2,) and males ages 10 to 14 (for whom it was baseball, see Table 3).
How were these statistics calculated?
The percentage (% ) of concussions and other TBIs among all injuries for a given SPAR-related activity is calculated like this:
- * The number of concussions includes both concussions and subconcussive impacts/undiagnosed concussion (minor closed head injury). In the eCHIRPP database, concussion is classified as Nature of Injury code 41 Minor closed head injury and 42 Concussion.
- ** TBIs include subconcussive impacts, undiagnosed concussions, diagnosed concussions, other more serious intracranial injuries, as well as skull and facial fractures and crushing injuries. In the eCHIRPP database, TBI is classified as either Nature of Injury code 41 Minor head injury, 42 Concussion, or 43 Intracranial injury; in eCHIRPP TBI is also classified as follows: Body Part 110 Head including scalp, skull, or Body Part 120 Face, combined with Nature of Injury code 12 Fracture, or Nature of Injury code 18 Crushing injury.
The results presented above should be interpreted with caution as they do not represent all sports and recreation-related injuries in Canada. CHIRPP is a sentinel surveillance system and collects data from select emergency departments across Canada. Teenagers older than 18 years of age, Aboriginal persons and people who live in rural areas may be under-represented in the eCHIRPP database, as most CHIRPP sites are paediatric hospitals located in major cities. Fatal injuries are also under-represented in the eCHIRPP database because the emergency department data do not capture people who died before they could be taken to hospital or those who died after being admitted via another department. Information is continuously being entered into the eCHIRPP database; therefore some years do not yet have complete data.
More information and related material
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