School-age children treated most often for sports-related concussions

Research Activities, July 2011, No. 371

About 39,000 school-age children were treated for sports-related concussions at hospital emergency departments in 2008—approximately 90 percent of all emergency visits for that condition, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Children aged 14 to 18 (high school age) represented 58 percent of the emergency visits treated for a sports-related concussion, 17 percent were between the age of 11 and 13 (middle school), 7 percent were 6 to 10 years old (elementary school), and 8 percent were 19 to 23 years old (college).

AHRQ also found that among patients treated for sports-related concussions in 2008:

  • About 12 percent experienced a moderate or prolonged loss of consciousness, while 21 percent had a brief loss of consciousness. More than half of all patients (52 percent) did not lose consciousness.
  • Males accounted for more than three-quarters of patients (78 percent) treated in the emergency department for sports-related concussions.
  • People treated for concussions typically also received care for other injuries, including less severe injuries such as pulled muscles and sprains, and more severe injuries such as skull fractures.
  • The vast majority of patients (95 percent) did not have to be admitted into the hospital.

This AHRQ News and Numbers summary is based on data from Sports-Related Concussions, 2008 ( The report uses data from the Agency's 2008 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample. For information about this AHRQ database, go to Databases and Related Tools from HCUP: Fact Sheet .

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at (301) 427-1539.

Page last reviewed July 2011
Internet Citation: School-age children treated most often for sports-related concussions: Research Activities, July 2011, No. 371. July 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.