Reports of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) among adults, particularly in professional sports, are often in the news. But what about TBIs among children and youth? In 2012, an estimated 329,290 children (age 19 or younger) were treated in emergency departments (EDs) for sports and recreation-related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or TBI. From 2001 to 2012, the rate of ED visits for sports and recreation-related injuries with a diagnosis of concussion or TBI, alone or in combination with other injuries, more than doubled among children (age 19 or younger).
Definition: Child maltreatment includes the physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect of a child or adolescent by an adult.
Magnitude of the Problem: Child Protective Services (CPS) estimated that there were 695,000 victims of child maltreatment in the U.S. during the 2010 fiscal year. According to a CDC study, child maltreatment costs the country close to $124 billion each year. It is associated with a number of short- and long-term health problems and injuries, such as:
- broken bones;
- developmental delays;
- alcohol abuse;
- heart and liver disease;
- severe obesity; and
- elevated risk of becoming an abuser.
Prevention: While providing services to children who have been abused or neglected is essential, the public health approach to child maltreatment relies on a primary prevention focus, examining and addressing risk factors associated with abuse and creating programs that support and promote healthy and safe relationships, such as home visiting programs for new parents.
Professionals in many fields are working to address the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), which have been shown to increase risk for a wide range of problems. One of these adverse experiences is child abuse and/or neglect, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates has been experienced by at least 1 in 7 US children in the past year. (1) If we work further “upstream,” we may prevent many traumatic events from occurring.
In 2015, injuries caused 13,363 deaths in U.S. children and adolescents aged 0-19. In addition, injuries were responsible for 200,225 hospitalizations and almost 7.7 million emergency department (ED) visits in this population (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], WISQARS, 2017). One important way to understand the burden of childhood injuries is by looking at the costs of those injuries.