Traumatic Brain Injuries Send Nearly 20 Kids Every Hour to Emergency Room

Experts with the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma will discuss #KidsConcussions during Twitter chat on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. EST. Learn more at


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Oct. 11, 2013 – Each year, U.S. emergency departments treat an estimated 173,285 sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, among children and adolescents from birth to 19 years old, which equals almost 20 injured children every hour.* A concussion is a brain injury and all are serious, with most concussions occurring without loss of consciousness. Recognition and proper treatment can help prevent further injury or even death.

Researchers recently found that contact in practice, not games, was the most significant variable when the number and force of head impacts in youth football players were measured over the course of a season. They concluded that less contact during practice could mean a lot less exposure to head injuries for young football players. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 62% of sports-related injuries occur during practice rather than in games.

“In addition to funding research that studies the number of head impacts children experience while playing sports, our larger goal is to improve detection of and treatment for these head injuries,” said Dr. J. Wayne Meredith, executive director of the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, and chair of general surgery and director of the division of surgical sciences at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

In reaction to these statistics, the Childress Institute (@injuredkids) will host a Twitter chat at #KidsConcussions to discuss sports-related head injuries in children on Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 1-2 p.m. EST. The chat will feature researchers and leading experts in the field and will cover:

  • Latest research about children’s head injuries
  • Education about how to protect young athletes
  • Advocacy suggestions for parents, coaches, trainers and physicians
  • Signs and symptoms of a possible concussion
  • Treatment options


Experts participating in the chat include:

  • Buddy Curry, former NFL player; Kids and Pros Football Experience, co-founder
  • Gerry Gioia, Children’s National Medical Center, Division Chief & Professor of Pediatric Neuropsychology
  • Suzanne Hill, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Center for Injury Research and Prevention, Program Director for Outreach and Advocacy
  • J. Wayne Meredith, Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, Executive Director
  • Alex Powers, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Judy Pulice, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, National Manager of State Legislative Affairs
  • Jennifer Smith, Certified Athletic Trainer
  • Joel Stitzel, Virginia Tech Wake Forest University Center for Injury Biomechanics, Biomedical Engineering Program Leader
  • Mark Zonfrillo, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Center for Injury Research and Prevention, Associate Director of Research


To learn more about the signs of concussions in kids, and other serious injuries to children, visit, or find the Childress Institute via social media on Twitter @injuredkids, and