Traumatic Head Injuries

  • Laura Purcell
Part of the Contemporary Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Medicine book series (PASM)


Head injuries are common among children, with about 15% of head injuries occurring as a result of participation in sports and recreational activities. Head injuries can occur in organized sport, such as football, soccer, and basketball, as well as recreational activities such as biking, skiing, and rollerblading. Approximately 200,000 emergency department visits for head injuries occur every year in patients aged 0–19 years. Most traumatic brain injuries related to sport occur in the pediatric age group, with the highest incidence observed in 12–18-year-olds. The vast majority of head injuries are mild, including skin contusions, lacerations, hematomas, and concussions. Only 10–20% of sport-related head injuries are serious, such as skull fractures or intracranial hemorrhages, which may result in permanent neurological deficits precluding return to sport. Any athlete with a suspected head injury should be removed from play and properly assessed to ensure optimal management and recovery.


Head injuries Traumatic brain injuries Youth Sport Skull fracture Intracranial hemorrhage Concussion Epidural hematoma Subdural hematoma 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Purcell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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