In the United States, about 30 million children and teens participate in some form of organized sports, and about 20 percent of children and adolescents participating in sports are injured every year. One in every four injuries is considered serious.
While some sports, such as football and other high-contact sports, are more dangerous than others, all types of sports have a potential for injury, whether from the trauma of contact with other players or from the overuse or misuse of body parts.
According to recent statistics from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and the American Academy of Pediatrics:
About 3.5 million children (ages 14 and under) get hurt every year playing sports or participating in recreational activities; while sports injury deaths are rare, the leading cause of death from a sports-related injury is brain injury, and approximately two out of every five 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.
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 almost 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms.
The severity of sports-related injuries increases with age, and older children are more likely to suffer from bicycle- and sports-related injuries and overexertion than younger children.
For boys, the highest rates of sports injuries are related to ice hockey, rugby and soccer accidents. For girls, it’s soccer, basketball and gymnastics.
Most head injuries occur during bicycling, skateboarding, or skating incidents.
Many injuries occur as a result of falling, being hit by an object, colliding and overexerting during unorganized or informal sports activities.
The law is designed to help protect victims injured while playing sports. Insurance companies have their own interests to protect, so families should consult with qualified attorneys who are dedicated to representing their best interest.