Data Brief, No. 302. Parental Report of Significant Head Injuries in Children Aged 3–17 Years: United States, 2016.
This data brief presents estimates of parent-reported lifetime significant head injuries among children aged 3–17 years, providing information about head injuries beyond those that were medically attended. In 2016, 7.0% of children aged 3–17 years have ever had a significant head injury based on parent- or guardian-reported data from NHIS. Boys were more likely than girls to have ever had a significant head injury. Non-Hispanic white children were nearly twice as likely to have ever had a significant head injury as non-Hispanic black and other non-Hispanic children. There were also differences based on parental educational attainment. The percentage of children who have ever had a significant head injury increased as age increased, with about 1 in 10 children aged 15–17 years having ever had a significant head injury. Among children who have ever had a significant head injury, the majority have only had one such injury (81.3%), while 18.7% have had two or more. This report’s estimates are based on parent or guardian report and may be influenced by parental recall, parental awareness, social desirability to report such injuries, and interpretation of the terms “significant head injury” and “concussion.” “Significant head injury” likely represents a range of severity, from superficial contusion to severe traumatic brain injury. Consequently, the results of this report should not be interpreted as describing the prevalence of physician-diagnosed traumatic brain injury or concussion. Data from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) were used for this analysis.