One-third of young athletes experience injuries: report

May 2, 2012

Washington – One in 3 youths who play team sports experience serious injuries that cause them to miss practice or games, and some suffer long-term health problems, according to a study (.pdf file) released in April by Safe Kids Worldwide and Johnson & Johnson.

Researchers analyzed data on 516 children ages 8 to 18, as well as survey information collected from 750 parents and 752 coaches. Cuts and scrapes were the most commonly reported injuries, followed by bruises and sprains or strains. Coaches who train 15- to 18-year-olds were more likely to report their players suffered broken bones, overuse injuries and head injuries, compared with other ages, researchers found.

Fifty-two percent of coaches said young athletes can receive an acceptable amount of head contact without causing a serious brain injury, and nearly half said they have been pressured, by parents of children, to play an injured child in a game.