While Everyone Is Busy Worrying About Football, Playground Concussions Are on the Rise

According to a new study, incidents of concussions from falls at playgrounds are on the rise. Despite many parks having cushioned grounds below equipment (which include wood chips, sand, and rubber mats), parents are seeking emergency help for traumatic brain injuries to their children. According to a new report in the journal Pediatrics (as reported by NBC news):

In 2005, 23 out of 100,000 kids had traumatic brain injuries, a rate that jumped to 48 out of 100,000 in 2013. The rate declined in the previous years but increased steadily after that. By 2013, the annual total was almost 30,000 kids treated for these brain injuries.

97% of the children with concussions in the study were permitted to return home, while the other 3% needed extended hospital stays. While concussions may be common, they can be life-threatening. Signs of these injuries include “headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea and vomiting.”

The rise may mean parents are becoming increasingly aware of the potential seriousness of concussions and the need for treatment. It’s also possible more kids are using playground equipment, the researchers said.

In order to avoid serious injuries to their children, parents should especially supervise play around monkey bars and swings, where most incidents occur. They should also check that equipment is working properly, and opt for playgrounds that do not have concrete below the structures.