Injury Prevention

Sports Injuries

Children ages five to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments. The rate and severity of sports-related injury increase with a child’s age.

Children are at greater risk for sports injuries than adults because they are unable to assess the risks; and they have less coordination, slower reaction times and less accuracy.

According to a survey sponsored by SAFE KIDS and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Research & Education Foundation:

  • Four out of five parents whose children suffered a sports injury believed, “It was part of the game and probably would have happened anyway.”
  • One-third of parents (34 percent) said they do not often take the same safety precautions during their children’s practices as games, although most sports injuries occur during practice.
  • Only one in four organized sports activities always has a certified athletic trainer on-site, despite recommendations to have one present during all sporting activities.
  • More than one-third (41 percent) of parents reported that their kids’ coaches are not certified in CPR and do not keep a first-aid kit on-hand during play.

Knowing these risk factors you can take the following steps:

  • Don’t accept injuries as “part of the game.” Learn about safe practices for your child’s sport and ensure that he is properly equipped.
  • Talk with the coach about ensuring safety gear and other appropriate preventive measures are followed during practices, not just games.
  • Encourage your child’s sports league to add a certified athletic trainer when possible to all sporting events. At minimum, every team should have a first aid kit and the coach should have appropriate first-aid training.
  • Ensure that emergency response plans are clearly defined in advance of the season. Make sure the coach has your emergency contact information in the event that you are not on-site when an injury occurs.
  • Put your child’s safety first. If you are not comfortable that appropriate injury prevention measures are in place, withdraw your child from the sport.
Last Update
October 10, 2008
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Last Update
October 10, 2008
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