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Traumatic Brain Injury – Press Room

CDC Workgroup to Improve Clinical Care of Youth with Mild TBI

Illustration of a brainAppropriate diagnosis and management of children and teens with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), including concussion, can help safeguard the health of young Americans. While clinical guidelines are available for adults with mild TBI, there is no current U.S. guideline to help clinicians care for children and teens with mild TBI. And with the numbers of children and teens in the U.S. seeking care for mild TBI continuing to increase markedly, this guideline is needed.

To provide leadership in this area, CDC National Center for injury Prevention and Control‘s (Injury Center) Board of Scientific Counselors established the Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Guideline Workgroup. This workgroup is charged with developing clinical diagnosis and management guidelines for acute mild TBI among children and teens that occur both on and off the sports field. Comprised of leading experts in the field of TBI, the workgroup will create a multi-organizationally endorsed guideline.

Clinical guidelines, such as this, help CDC’s Injury Center put science into action to help improve the care children and teens with mild TBI seen each day in doctor’s offices and emergency departments across the country. In addition, this guideline will help fill an important gap and help ensure consistent and evidence-based care of young patients with mild TBI.

A list of experts involved in the Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Guideline Workgroup can be found at:

TBIs, Including Concussions, Among Youth Athletes

Woman encouraging young athletesDuring the last decade, emergency department visits for sports and recreation-related TBIs, including concussions, increased by 60 percent among children and adolescents (from birth to 19 years). Bicycling, football, playground activities, basketball, and soccer are the most common activities involved. One reason for the increase may be a result of the growing awareness among parents and coaches, and the public as a whole, about the need for individuals with a suspected TBI to be seen by a health care professional.

CDC’s newly released report, Nonfatal Traumatic Brain Injuries Related to Sports and Recreation Activities Among Persons Aged ≤19 Years — United States, 2001–2009, published in the October 7th issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, shows that the number of sports- and recreation-related TBI emergency department visits varied by age group and gender:

  • 71.0 percent of all visits were among males
  • 70.5 percent of visits were among persons aged 10-19 years
  • Children aged 0-9 years commonly sustained injuries during playground activities or while bicycling.

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Partnering to Help Take Concussions Out of Play

NFL Player Poster on concussionThis season, a new poster on concussion in sports will be displayed in NFL locker rooms nationwide. Developed for NFL players, the poster is the result of a joint effort between the NFL, NFL Players Association, CDC, Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society, and the NFL Physicians Society. The poster highlights the importance of:

  • Recognizing a concussion
  • Taking time to recover, and
  • Not returning to play too soon.

As the fall sports season kicks off, we encourage you to take this opportunity to talk with your coaches, parents, athletes, and others about concussion in all sports and the steps to take to help prevent, recognize, and respond to this serious injury. We can help athletes of all ages stay active and healthy by knowing the facts about concussion and when it is safe for athletes to return to play.

CDC Resources on Concussion

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Tracking Traumatic Brain Injury in the U.S.

This shows injury and traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related death rates, by age group in the United States in 2006. In 2006, nearly one third of all injury deaths involved TBI. Overall injury and TBI-related death rates vary across age groups. Peak injury and TBI-related mortality rates occurred among persons aged 20-24 years (76.4 per 100,000 and 24.1 per 100,000, respectively) and among persons aged ≥75 years (173.2 per 100,000 and 58.4 per 100,000, respectively).A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or by a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” to “severe”.

  • A new CDC report found that an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the U.S. each year. This equals about 4,700 TBIs each day.1
  • Nearly one-third of all injury deaths involve TBI.1
  • The majority of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild TBI.

Learn More


1. Faul M, Xu L, Wald MM, Coronado VG. Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations and Deaths 2002–2006. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2010.

Prevent and Recognize Concussion

Football PlayerConcussions can happen to anyone - not just pro football players.

A concussion can occur in any sport or recreation activity. An estimated 135,000 of sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI), including concussions, treated in U.S. emergency departments occur each year to children ages 5 to 18.

On December 10th, the NFL began airing a national public service announcement (PSA) about concussion on CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, as well as on the NFL Network. The PSA describes the importance of recognizing a concussion, taking time to recover, and not returning to play too soon. The PSA directs viewers to CDC’s Heads Up website and concussion resources for more information. This provides an opportunity to localize this story with coaches, parents, athletes, and others about concussion and the steps to take to help prevent, recognize, and respond to this serious injury.