Children are sustaining concussions more than any other form of injury, according to a new study from PLOS ONE.

According to a report summarizes an epidemiologic analysis of recreational sports injuries among 1500 children, ages 5–11 in Florida. The study used the computerized pediatric concussion tool from ImPACT Applications, Inc. for baseline and follow-up testing to better understand concussions.

This research followed a prospective surveillance design utilizing a large cohort of children, ages 5–11, who play recreational football, soccer, and baseball/softball in Florida. The study venue was a large athletic facility in Hillsborough County, Florida. The sports observed were soccer (girls’ and boys’), baseball, softball, and football.

Over the course of the project, 26 injuries were reported through High School Reporting Information Online (RIO), an internet-based injury surveillance system. Football and soccer produced the greatest rate of injuries. There were 12 concussions, which comprised nearly half of all the injuries. 

Certified Athletic Trainers were hired to collect injury data using RIO. During the two-year study, 26 athletes were injured, 12 were diagnosed with a concussion. Of those concussions, ten occurred during boys’ and girls’ soccer, the remainder happened during recreational softball games, a media release from University of South Florida (USF Innovation) explains.

“To date, research on sports injuries has largely been focused on high school and collegiate athletes. For child athletes, many sports/recreational activities are not organized for reporting injuries, so almost no data for this group have been collected,” says Karen Liller, PhD, professor of community and family health at the University of South Florida College of Public Health, who was part of the study. “No effective prevention strategies can be properly developed without the knowledge of the mechanisms related to these injuries including concussions.”

Andy Berg is Executive Editor of Athletic Business.