Sports Safety - Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
In the United States, more than 38 million children and adolescents participate in some form of organized sports, and each year, more than 3.5 million injuries are experienced by sports participants. The most common types of sports-related injuries are sprains and strains.
Some sports can be more dangerous than others. For example, contact sports, such as football, cause a higher number of injuries than a non-contact sport, such as swimming. However, all types of sports have a potential for injury, whether from the trauma of contact with other players or from overuse or misuse of a body part.
Injury rates and facts
The following statistics are the latest available from Safe Kids Worldwide and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
- Each year, more than 3.5 million children ages 14 and younger get hurt playing sports or participating in recreational activities.
- Approximately 1 out of 5 traumatic brain injuries among children are associated with participation in sports and recreational activities.
- More than 90 percent of sports-related concussions occur without the loss of consciousness.
- Most organized sports-related injuries (62 percent) occur during practice rather than games.
- One study found that the number of children admitted to hospitals for sports-related injuries was six times higher for males than females.
- Although death from a sports-related injuries is rare, the leading cause of death from sports-related injuries is a brain injury.
- Compared to adults, children are at increased risk of traumatic brain injuries because of increased severity and prolonged recovery periods.
- Young children, between the ages of five and 14 years old, experience more playground-, sports-, and bicycle-related injuries.
- The highest rates of injury occur in sports that involve contact and collisions.
- More severe injuries occur in individual sports.
- The four activities with the most injuries to bones and muscles include bicycling, basketball, football and roller sports.
Reviewed by: Gina Duchossois
Date: May 2013