WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The CDC calls it an "invisible epidemic."
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) caused by sports are on the rise, according to a new study published by Pediatrics.
Physicians at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center monitored visits to the emergency room between 2002 and 2011. The number of children visiting for sports-related TBIs increased by 92 percent.
At the Cincinnati hospital, the most common causes of injury were sledding, inline skating and skateboarding.
The study showed that while hospital visits for TBIs increased dramatically, the severity of the injuries decreased. Length of hospital stays remained steady.
The physicians did not focus their study on why the rates of TBIs have skyrocketed. But they speculate that physicians may be recommending more hospital visits for patients, and that head injuries happen more often because athletes are bigger and stronger.
About 630,000 emergency visits per year are due to TBIs. Head injuries also account for about 6,100 deaths in children and teens each year.