Sports injury statistics
How frequently do sports injuries occur?
Almost one-third of all childhood injuries are sports-related injuries. By far, the most common types of injuries are sprains and strains.
Obviously, some sports are more dangerous than others. For example, contact sports such as football result in a higher number of injuries than a non-contact sports like 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 statistics and incidence rates
- About 3.5 million children (ages 14 and under) get hurt each year playing sports or participating in recreational activities.
- Although death from a sports injury is rare, the leading cause of death from a sports-related injury is a brain injury.
- Approximately 2 out of 5 traumatic brain injuries among children are associated with participation in sports and recreational activities.
- The most common types of sport-related injuries in children are sprains (mostly ankle), muscle strains, bone or growth plate injuries, repetitive motion injuries, and heat-related illness.
Approximately 2 out of 5 traumatic brain injuries among children are associated with participation in sports and recreational activities.
Where and when:
- The highest rates of injury occur in sports that involve contact and collisions.
- More severe injuries occur during individual sports and recreational activities.
- Most organized sports-related injuries (62 percent) occur during practice.
- Children ages 5 to 14 years account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments.
- Sports-related injury severity increases with age.
- Older children are more likely to suffer from bicycle- and sports-related injuries and overexertion than younger children.
- The highest rates of injury for boys, in regards to sports, are ice hockey, rugby and soccer. Soccer, basketball and gymnastics seem to incur the highest rates of injury in girls.