Sports Safety for Kids
Sports related injuries are the second leading cause of hospital emergency room visits for children and teens. A 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 2.6 million children were treated in hospital emergency rooms in 2009 due to sports or recreation related injuries. In fact, every three minutes a child is seen in a hospital emergency room for sports related injuries in the United States. Alarmingly, numerous additional injuries are either treated in urgent care clinics, doctors’ offices or other types of clinics.
Future Health Consequences Related to Sports Injuries
Many children who suffer sports related injuries go on to experience significant health issues for the remainder of their lives as a result. Children who are at the highest risk for suffering continuous health consequences are those who suffer:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spine injuries
- Neck injuries
- Joint injuries
Financial Consequences of Serious Sports Injuries
In addition to the pain and suffering involved, such serious injuries can often leave families financially devastated with expensive costs for continuing medical treatment, assistive devices, rehabilitation and more. In 2003 alone, sports related injuries for children under the age of 18 cost American families more that $11 billion in direct medical care.
Most Common Sports Related Injuries
According to SafeKids.org, the most common types of sports related injuries kids experience are:
- Sprains and Strains – 451,500
- Bone Fractures – 250,000
- Abrasions and Contusions – 210,600
- Concussions – 164,000
Children who participate in football, basketball and soccer are at the highest risk for injury.
Quick Facts About Sports Injuries and Kids
- An estimated 50 percent of all sports related injuries for middle and high school students are due to overuse.
- Approximately 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries that children in the United States experience are due to sports.
- The CDC reports that more than half of all childhood sports injuries are preventable.
- Between the ages of 5 and 14, nearly one third of all footballs players, one fourth of baseball players, one sixth of basketball players and just over one tenth of softball players will experience a sports related injury.
- On average, the rate and severity of sports related injuries tend to increase with a child’s age.
- Girls are approximately 8 times more likely to suffer an anterior cruciate ligament injury (ACL) than boys.