What are the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries in children between the ages of 6 and 18? A new study conducted by the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina has found that 20 percent of all child head injuries take place during recreational activities. These activities include organized sports, playing outdoors, swimming, and riding bicycles.

This study comes on the heels of heightened awareness of brain injuries, such as concussions, that take place during school sports, school gym classes, after school activities, and other high school athletics. Recently, research has found that concussion happen more often than parents might think, especially in sports such as football, hockey, basketball, soccer, skiing, and cycling. More importantly, medical experts have warned parents and schools to be aware of second impact syndrome – a dangerous and often deadly head injury that occurs when a teen is suffers two concussions within days or weeks of each other.

Many recreational sports that can lead to head injuries and traumatic brain injuries are not the sports that many parents think of when they think of dangerous activities. For example, Pelion high school student Ashlyn Ewing was practicing with her cheerleading squad when she fell 15 feet to the ground during a routine. The next day, she was suffering from headache and light sensitivity – two red flag symptoms that point to a concussion.

Luckily, since high schools and parents are more educated than ever regarding head injuries, many schools now have rules  in place to keep kids safer and healthier as they participate in sports.