Tag Archives: youth sports injuries

youth-football-injuryAccording to a 2013 report by Safe Kids Worldwide, more than 1.35 million children visited an emergency room in 2012 due to a sports related injury. Actual sports related injuries are likely quite a bit higher since this number doesn’t account for children who visited their family doctor or a walk-in clinic for care. Among children aged 6 to 19 years, common sports injuries include sprains, strains, fractures, contusions, abrasions, and concussions. The cost to treat these injuries is more than $935 million per year. Despite the risk of injury, youth sports participation continues to rise with some estimates that 46.5 million children participate every year.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System report found that in 2012 an alarming 12 percent of all ER visits were due to a concussion and forty-seven percent of these visits were from children aged 12 to 15. Concussions are particularly dangerous for children because their brains are still growing and forming. It is also known that multiple concussions can cause severe repercussions so the younger a child experiences their first; the more time there is to incur a second. Girls experience a higher level of concussions in youth sports; for example, among youth basketball players, 11.5 percent of girls admitted to the ER are diagnosed with concussions, compared with 7.2 percent of boys. The reason for the disparity is unclear according to sports medicine physician Kathryn Ackerman, co-director of the Female Athlete Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Overuse Injuries

“Overuse injuries” are also a common problem among youth athletes with about 25 percent of them turning serious. Overuse injuries tend to affect tendons, bones, and joints and are often a result of playing the same sport and repeating the same motion repetitively, too hard, or too young without enough time for the body to recover. Overuse injuries account for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students.

Children should be encouraged to rest and add preventive and strengthening exercises to their routines. They need to be taught proper techniques for throwing, catching, kicking, etc. and should be encouraged to tell their parents and coaches if they are feeling strained.

Youth Sports Injury Statistics

  • Football had the highest number of injuries and the highest concussion rate (40 per 10,000 athletes). Wrestling and cheerleading had the second- and third-highest concussion rates (15 per 10,000 athletes and 12 per 10,000 athletes, respectively).
  • The most common injuries occurred to the ankle (15%), followed by head (14%), finger (12%), knee (9%), and face (7%).
  • 62% of organized sports-related injuries occur during practice.
  • 20% of children aged 8 to 12 and 45% of those aged 13 to 14 will experience arm pain during a single youth baseball season.
  • Injuries associated with participation in sports and recreational activities account for 21% of all traumatic brain injuries among children in the United States.
  • According to the CDC, more than half of all sports injuries in children are preventable.
  • Among athletes aged 5 to 14, 28% of football players, 25% of baseball players, 22% of soccer players, 15% of basketball players, and 12% of softball players were injured while playing their respective sports.
  • Since 2000 there has been a fivefold increase in the number of serious shoulder and elbow injuries among youth baseball and softball players.

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is two to three times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation!

baseball-injuriesBaseball is America’s pastime and one of the most popular sports played by our youth; an estimated 4.8 million children 5 to 14 years of age participate annually in organized and recreational baseball and softball. Although rare, catastrophic impact injuries from contact with a ball or a bat have raised safety concerns over the years. These injuries, along with more common shoulder, elbow, and eye injuries are the subject of this study. Generally, however, baseball and softball are considered relatively safe sports with catastrophic and chronically disabling injuries being very rare.

Baseball Injury Statistics

  • Between two and 8 percent of baseball players are injured while playing the sport each year.
  • 162,000 baseball, softball and tee-ball injuries among children between the ages of 5 and 14 years were treated in emergency departments in 1995.
  • Peaking at age 12, the number of injuries experienced by each child generally increases with age.
  • Of the injuries, 26% were fractures, and 37% were contusions and abrasions. The remaining injuries were strains, sprains, concussions, internal injuries, and dental injuries.

The potential for catastrophic injury resulting from direct contact with a bat, baseball, or softball exists. Deaths have occurred among baseball players from impact to the head with a bat or baseball. The result can be intracranial bleeding or blunt chest impact, probably causing ventricular fibrillation or asystole (commotio cordis).

Little League Elbow

The term “Little League elbow” refers to medial elbow pain attributable to throwing by skeletally immature athletes. Pitchers are most likely to be affected by this condition, but it can occur in other positions associated with frequent and forceful throwing. The throwing motion creates traction forces on the medial portion of the elbow and compression forces on the lateral portion of the elbow. Early recognition of the symptoms is important to avoid chronic elbow pain, instability, and arthritis.

Baseball Safety Recommendations

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following safety guides:

  1. Preventive measures should be used to protect young baseball pitchers from throwing injuries. Preventive measures include restricting the number of pitches thrown during games and practices and instruction in proper training, conditioning, and throwing mechanics. Parents, coaches, and players should be educated about the early warning signs of an overuse injury and encouraged to seek swift and appropriate treatment if evidence of an injury develops.
  2. If safety equipment is used effectively during games and practices, most serious and potentially catastrophic baseball injuries can be avoided. Safety equipment includes the use of approved rubber spikes, batting helmets, masks, and chest and neck protectors for all catchers. Protective fencing of dugouts and benches, the use of break-away bases, and the elimination of the on-deck circle are also recommended. Protective equipment should always be properly fitted and well maintained.
  3. With baseball being the leading cause of sports-related eye injuries in children, players should be encouraged to wear polycarbonate eye protectors on their batting helmets to reduce the risk of eye injury. These eye protectors should be required for functionally one-eyed athletes (best corrected vision in the worst eye of less than 20/50) and for athletes who have experienced a serious eye injury.
  4. Low-impact NOCSAE-approved baseballs and softballs have shown to cause less damage on impact when used among children 5 to 14 years of age.
  5. Developmentally appropriate rule modifications, such as the avoidance of head-first sliding, which can cause serious head injuries should be imposed on children younger than 10 years.
  6. Note: There is not sufficient data to support the use of chest protectors on all players, besides catchers.

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is two to three times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation!