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Sports Injury

Exercise and Fitness for Kids

By

Updated December 10, 2009

Sports Injury in Soccer Player

Sports Injury in Soccer Player

Alexander Kalina
Although everyone wants kids to be more active, no one wants that increase in physical activity to come at the expense of more injuries. Unfortunately, many kids do get injured while playing sports. In fact, according to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, "Each year, more than 3.5 million children ages 14 and under are treated for sports injuries."

Which Sports Are Most Dangerous?

It is probably not a good idea to choose which sport your child plays because you simply think it will be safer than another. As I like to tell parents when they ask if they should let their kids play football, I actually managed to break my leg playing tennis in high school. So your kids could get hurt no matter which sport they play... Some sports do have more injuries than others. According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, in 2002:
  • about 207,400 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for basketball related injuries
  • about 187,800 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for football related injuries
  • about 116,900 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for baseball or softball related injuries.
  • about 76,200 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for soccer related injuries
  • about 21,200 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for gymnastics related injuries
  • about 11,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated for cheerleading related injuries
  • about 2,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated for field hockey related injuries
While kids playing basketball seemed to have the most injuries, baseball had the highest fatality rate, with 3 to 4 children dying from baseball injuries each year. And keep in mind that the above statistics don't take into account that kids may play one sport more than another, so one sport could have more injuries simply because more kids play that sport.

Preventing a Sports Injury

To help prevent sports injuries, it is important to take precautions, including making sure that your kids:
  • have regular checkups with your Pediatrician
  • drink plenty of fluids before and during practice and games
  • do warmup exercises before practice and games
  • wear protective gear during practice and games, which can include pads, shin guard, mouth guard, athletic supporter, helmets with face shields, and safety goggles, etc.
  • are well supervised while playing in a safe environment
  • do not 'play through' injuries



Sources:
National SAFE KIDS Campaign (NSKC). Sports Injury Fact Sheet. Washington (DC): NSKC, 2004.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Childhood Sports Injuries and Their Prevention A Guide for Parents with Ideas for Kids

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