Sports Injuries in Children

W. Steven Pray, PhD, DPh; Joshua J. Pray, PharmD candidate


US Pharmacist. 2004;29(10) 

In This Article

The Most Dangerous Sports and The Dangers of Winter Sports

In one study, basketball was the most injurious sport, causing injuries at a rate of four per 1,000.[3] In another, football was responsible for 39% of injuries, compared to rollerblading at 14%, basketball at 7%, and physical education at school at 7%.[5] In football, the injury rate for quarterbacks and running backs is five times that of offensive linemen and linebackers.[6]

More recently introduced sports and those played outside of school are also dangerous (which may be part of their allure). Children riding waves on bodyboards experience blunt abdominal trauma leading to lacerated livers or lacerated spleens.[7] Skateboarders experience fractures (usually the ankle or wrist), concussion, sprains, and soft-tissue injuries, most often when performing on ramps or in arenas.[8] While many skaters simply lose their balance, others improperly execute stunts.

Winter sports are particularly injurious to children. Snowmobiling, with speeds of 90 miles per hour and vehicle weights of more than 600 lbs., causes 200 deaths and 14,000 accidents yearly.[9] The most common causes of snowmobile injury are collisions with objects or automobiles.[10] Winter sliding, sledding, skiing, and snowboarding also cause pediatric injuries.[11,12,13]