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Sports injuries are one of the most common causes of emergency room visits for kids under the age of 18. In fact, our injury lawyers have seen an increase in the number of case filings for child injuries due to sports accidents. Broken bones, overuse injuries and brain/head injuries are increasing. Football, soccer and basketball, as well as ice hockey, are the usual sports involved in these types of accidents.

Football, Soccer and Basketball – The Big Three

We live in a time when great emphasis is placed on sports, starting from an early age. It’s become the norm for elementary school kids to play full contact football, when a few decades ago, full contact football was usually reserved for older elementary school kids.

Related: Concussions Increasing in Children in Pennsylvania & New Jersey [Concussions are increasing in children due to sports injuries, particularly in the Northeast region, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our infographic shows that concussions due to sports have been increasing for kids between the ages of 10-19.]

Football, soccer and basketball are some of the most dangerous sports for children. According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which is operated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, football has the highest injury rate, followed by rugby, ice hockey, basketball and soccer. Out of every 100,000 football players, 41 will be injured. Out of every 100,000 soccer players, 22 will be injured.

In addition, the total numbers of sports related injuries have been increasing for football, soccer and basketball over the past few years, especially in the last two years.

Football

  • Annual average number of injuries: 249,000 (2004-2014)
  • Number of injuries in 2015: 395,000
  • Percent increase: 59%

Soccer

  • Annual average number of injuries: 119,000 (2004-2014)
  • Number of injuries in 2015: 225,000
  • Percent increase: 89%

Basketball

  • Annual average number of injuries: 311,000 (2004-2014)
  • Number of injuries in 2015: 484,000
  • Percent increase: 55%

Why the Increase in Sports Injuries?

Why are we seeing such stark increases in sports injuries among kids? There are many reasons. One of the main reasons is increased participation in duration, intensity and frequency. Simply put, children are participating in an increasing number of sports, at the same time or for prolonged periods of time. A child who plays soccer might also play football and basketball, all within the same week, with multiple practices for each sport. Alternatively, a child may specialize their sports skills and play baseball year round, on both an intramural team and a travel team, with baseball clinics throughout the year.

Children who participate in more than 1 sport at a time or engage in a single sport over an extended period of time are more likely to suffer an overuse injury. Also, children who participate in too many sports may be fatigued, which can lead to accidents. For instance, a child who has basketball practice and then football practice in the same day, may not be paying attention during a drill at football practice and sustains a serious concussion.

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