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Football Leads Youth Sports Injuries

But Head Injuries Strike Many Other Young Athletes, Too
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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 studied.

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 lingering effects.

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.

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