Recent studies have found that there have been a significant increase in sports-related brain injuries in children in the past ten years. It has also been found that children are more at risk of suffering a brain injury than an adult because their brains are still in development and fragile. 90% of deaths caused by brain injuries are children who are high school age or younger.
Another concern of doctors, and an injury specific to children, is trauma to the brain known as second-impact syndrome. This is when an already-injured brain receives a second injury before it has had a chance to heal. This syndrome can cause swelling of the cerebellum and death. No athletes over the age of 20 have suffered from this syndrome.
Causes of this spike in sports-related brain injuries in children are thought to be the recent focus on competitiveness and winning. Parents are encouraged to learn ways in which they can protect their child from brain injuries caused by a sport, such as by using protective head equipment.