By Lauren Shanley
Every year, more than 135,000 children and teens nationwide find themselves in emergency rooms due to sports-related accidents. The most common diagnosis? Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which are caused by bumps, blows, or jolts to the head — all of which can disrupt the normal function of the brain.
According to Safe Kids USA, of the 3.5 million children treated for sports injuries in 2009, and over 40 percent of TBIs in children were sports-induced. While TBIs can range from mild to severe, all should be taken seriously. The majority of TBIs are concussions, which is when the brain moves inside the skull and can even bang against the skull bone. Such intensive cerebral trauma can cause some brain cells to excrete neurotransmitters, in effect flooding the brain with chemicals that inhibit learning and memory, resulting in confusion, blurred vision, and memory loss.
The following five team sports are the most dangerous. While team sports provide a wealth of emotional, social, and physical benefits for kids, it's important to provide your young athlete with the proper protective gear and to teach your child to follow game regulations to avoid brain trauma and other serious injuries.
Next: Girls' basketball »
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