Reports of brain injuries from playground accidents are on the rise in the United States, despite improvements in safety and design.

Brain Injuries From Playground AccidentsEmergency rooms treated approximately 21,000 playground brain injuries among children ages 14 and younger between 2001 and 2013, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It’s not just sports. This study highlights the importance of other causes of traumatic brain injuries and concussion among children,” said study researcher Dr. Jeneita Bell. She is a medical officer at the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

The researchers can’t explain why serious head injuries are increasing. “We can only make assumptions,” Bell said.

“It may be that there is increased awareness about concussions as a whole,” she suggested. Recently, researchers have focused on the ongoing dangers of concussions.  For playground injuries, the playground gyms, swings, and monkey bars were the equipment that was most commonly cited in head injuries.

Monkey bars, playground gyms and swings were the pieces of equipment cited most often in connection with these head injuries. And about two-thirds of the injuries occurred at schools and recreational sports facilities, according to the study.

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