Traumatic Brain Injury: Who Is At Risk?


  • Children under the age of one and adults 65 years and older are most likely to sustain a TBI severe enough to require hospitalization; 15 to 19 year olds have the third highest rate.
  • Children under the age of one, followed by 1 to 4 year olds, are the most likely to be treated in an emergency department for a TBI; 15 to 19 year olds have the third highest rate.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Prevention, Children Ages Birth to 19 Years

Student Athletes

  • Every year, about 4,000 New York children age 19 and younger are treated at hospitals for sports-related traumatic brain injuries.
  • Concussions can happen in any sport, but most often occur in contact sports, such as football, rugby, or ice hockey.
  • When in Doubt…Take Them Out!
    The "When in Doubt...Take Them Out!" sports-related concussion prevention campaign is designed to empower coaches, parents, athletes, and school administrators to effectively prevent, recognize, and respond to concussions. The campaign includes a fact sheet for coaches and parents, a poster, a magnet, and a clip board for coaches. "Guidelines for Concussion Management in the School Setting" and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "Heads Up: Concussion in High School Sports" toolkit are available.

Older Adults

  • Adults 65 years and older have the highest rate of TBI deaths.
  • In New York State, falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for those 45 years and older.
  • Falls in Older Adults, New York State

Victims of Violence

  • Victims of violence who have been hit in the face or head, fallen and hit their head, been shaken severely, strangled or choked are at risk for a TBI.
  • Domestic Violence Poster: Heads Up!


Traumatic brain injury is a significant health issue that affects service members and veterans. The rate of combat-related brain injuries in service members returning from the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan is higher than in previous conflicts. Blast injuries are a significant cause of TBIs. The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center reports that between 2000 and the second quarter of 2010, there were 188,270 medically diagnosed cases of TBI in the US military.