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Kids head injuries: The unexpected worst sports for childhood concussion

Children who play contact sports like AFL or rugby are at less risk of serious head injuries than kids who cycle, skateboard or horse ride, according to new research.

Professor Franz Babl, Group Leader of Emergency Research at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, said the finding was a surprise.

“We expected higher numbers of more serious injuries for football and for rugby,” he told 3AW’s Ross and John.

“Our original study was to figure out who needs a CT scan amongst all the kids who come through the door, so this was a secondary analysis.”

Professor Babl said helmets help reduce the risks associated with cycling, skateboarding and horse riding.

“We know that not all children who come through the door with a head injury wore helmets and that’s a particular problem for scooters and skateboarders, rather than bikers,” he said.

Concerns about the long term repercussions of concussion in contact sport are growing.

Earlier this month a leading head injury doctor said he expects contact sports will die out as the lasting impact of head injuries becomes more well known.

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