Football Leads Youth Sports Injuries
But Head Injuries Strike Many Other Young Athletes, Too
WebMD News Archive
Football Injuries May Be Preventable
“While football does have a high rate of injuries, injuries don’t have to be
just part of the game,” says researcher Christy Collins, MA, research associate
at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Columbus Children’s
Research Institute, in a news release. “There are ways to reduce the number and
severity of football injuries through targeted interventions.
“Because we observed high levels of ankle and knee injuries, we recommend
increased conditioning of ankles and knees and rule changes aimed at protecting
these vulnerable body sites. As most of the injuries to these regions were due
to ligament sprains, targeted stretching exercises may also be beneficial.”
Sports-Related Brain Injuries
The second study on sports injuries comes from the CDC.
The study shows that children and teens aged 5-18 account for nearly 60% of
people treated for sports-related traumatic brain injuries at U.S. hospitals
from 2001 to 2005.
That translates to almost 135,000 kids and teens in that age range who went
to emergency departments due to sports-related brain injuries during the years
Activities associated with the greatest number of those emergency department
visits were bicycling, football, basketball, playground activities, and soccer,
according to the CDC.
The findings, which come from a U.S. hospital database, don't show whether
the patients were wearing helmets while biking or playing football.
The CDC urges athletes, parents, and coaches to seek medical care for any
brain injury, even those that seem relatively mild, due to the risk of
Athletes shouldn't return to play without approval from a doctor or health
official, the CDC also notes.
"These injuries are very serious and should never be ignored," says
CDC Director Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, in a CDC news release.