Do You Know Which Sport has the Most Injuries?

SCHOOL SPORTS

Young people aged 5 to 14 accounted for 50 percent of the football injuries treated in emergency rooms in 2011, according to data from the National Safety Council. This age group accounted for 67.5 percent of gymnastics injuries, 41.5 percent of track and field injuries, and 30.9 percent of volley ball injuries treated in emergency rooms the same year. (see chart below).

SPORT INJURIES

Biking is the most dangerous sport, followed by basketball and football, based on estimates of injuries treated in hospital emergency departments compiled by the National Safety Council.

The National Council reports that there were 225,493 swimming injuries treated in emergency rooms in 2010. About 42 percent of the injuries involved children between the ages of 5 and 14. A July 2012 analysis by the Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 90 children under 15 years of age have drowned since Memorial Day and an additional 106 children of that age required emergency response in near-drowning incidents.

There has been growing concern about the risks of sports-related concussions as lawsuits filed by injured professional football players have generated national headlines. The problem also affects thousands of young people who engage in a variety of sports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an estimated 173,285 sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI), including concussions, among children and adolescents are treated in U.S. emergency rooms annually. Biking, football, playground activities, basketball and soccer are among the leading activities associated with TBI injuries treated in emergency rooms. For further information see http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/sports/facts.html

PEDALCYCLIST FATALITIES AND FATALITY RATES, 2011 (1)
Age group  Fatalities  Population  (000)  Fatality rate per
million population
Under 5 5 20,162 0.25
5 to 9 26 20,334 1.28
10 to 15 35 24,862 1.41
16 to 20 50 22,083 2.26
21 to 24 53 17,558 3.02
25 to 34 71 41,790 1.70
35 to 44 78 40,628 1.92
45 to 54 157 44,718 3.51
55 to 64 108 38,062 2.84
65 to 74 58 22,482 2.58
75 to 84 23 13,175 1.75
Over 85   9 5,737 1.57
Total (2) 677 311,592 2.17

(1) Includes riders of bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles powered by pedals, such as tricycles and unicycles.
(2) Includes pedalcyclists of unknown age.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau.

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PEDALCYCLISTS INJURED AND INJURY RATES, 2011 (1)

Age group Injured Population (000) Injury rate per
million population
Under 5 (2) 20,162 NA
5 to 9 2,000 20,334 117
10 to 15 7,000 24,862 276
16 to 20 8,000 22,083 380
21 to 24 4,000 17,558 247
25 to 34 7,000 41,790 168
35 to 44 5,000 40,628 116
45 to 54 7,000 44,718 146
55 to 64 5,000 38,062 138
65 to 74 2,000 22,482 80
75 to 84 1,000 13,175 48
Over 85   (2) 5,737 NA
Total 48,000 311,592 154

(1) Includes riders of bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles powered by pedals, such as tricycles and unicycles.
(2) Less than 500 injured.

NA=Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration;  U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau.

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SPORTS PARTICIPATION AND INJURIES, UNITED STATES, 2011
Percent of injuries by age
Sport or activity Participants Injuries (1) 0-4 5-14 15-24 25-64 65 and over
Archery 6,300,000 4,933 5.4% 7.7% 17.5% 58.9% 10.9%
Baseball 12,300,000 155,100 2.7 48.2 28.1 20.3 0.7
Basketball 26,100,000 536,840 0.3 32.9 48.3 18.2 0.2
Bicycle riding (2) 39,100,000 540,339 5.4 36.8 19.3 34.1 4.3
Billiards, pool 20,000,000 3,266 8.7 23.7 17.4 47.0 3.3
Bowling 34,900,000 19,281 6.5 14.5 16.2 51.6 11.3
Boxing NA 19,698 0.3 10.2 49.6 39.1 0.8
Cheerleading NA 38,108 0.2 51.7 47.1 1.0 (3)
Exercise NA 317,215 (4) 2.0 12.1 19.9 55.3 10.7
Fishing 37,700,000 (5) 66,893 4.0 18.9 13.0 54.1 10.0
Football 9,000,000 (6) 467,731 0.2 50.0 40.1 9.6 0.1
Golf 20,900,000 32,677 (7) 5.8 14.9 7.0 44.7 27.6
Gymnastics 5,100,000 26,371 (8) 3.8 67.5 23.5 5.2 (3)
Hockey, street, roller and field NA 9,351 0.1 35.2 55.6 9.1 (3)
Horseback riding NA 69,906 1.3 15.2 24.6 55.5 3.4
Horseshoe pitching NA 1,637 1.0 24.4 11.5 53.8 9.3
Ice hockey 3,000,000 19,703 0.3 28.7 52.0 18.9 0.1
Ice skating NA 20,578 (9) 2.0 45.9 19.4 31.3 1.3
Martial arts NA 35,037 0.5 23.8 29.6 45.7 0.5
Mountain biking 6,000,000 8,859 1.1 4.7 20.0 73.4 0.9
Mountain climbing NA 5,433 0.3 10.3 39.0 49.0 1.4
Racquetball, squash and paddleball NA 5,532 (3) 1.4 31.3 61.6 5.7
Roller skating NA 67,274 (10) 1.4 54.7 13.7 29.6 0.7
Rugby NA 15,186 (3) 5.2 77.7 17.1 (3)
Scuba diving NA 1,331 (11) 1.2 6.2 34.0 52.3 6.3
Skateboarding 6,600,000 108,510 1.5 40.6 44.0 13.7 0.2
Snowboarding 5,100,000 42,537 0.2 24.5 49.3 25.5 0.4
Snowmobiling NA 10,305 0.7 8.5 21.9 68.1 0.8
Soccer 13,900,000 214,053 0.9 41.8 38.8 18.3 0.1
Softball 10,400,000 107,033 0.2 29.0 30.0 39.8 0.9
Swimming 46,000,000 205,662 (12) 9.8 43.1 17.5 25.7 3.9
Tennis 13,100,000 18,920 2.2 15.6 20.4 42.4 19.4
Track and field NA 27,992 (3) 41.5 46.7 11.6 0.2
Volleyball 10,100,000 58,803 0.2 30.9 44.2 23.8 0.8
Water skiing 4,300,000 6,539 1.1 15.2 35.3 47.4 1.0
Weight lifting 29,100,000 95,486 3.7 9.3 35.0 49.0 3.0
Wrestling 3,200,000 44,850 (3) 40.5 55.2 4.3 (3)

(1) Treated in hospital emergency departments.
(2) Excludes mountain biking.
(3) Less than 0.1 percent.
(4) Includes exercise equipment (61,721 injuries) and exercise activity (255,494 injuries).
(5) Includes participation in fresh and saltwater fishing.
(6) Includes participation in tackle football only.
(7) Excludes golf carts (14,053 injuries).
(8) Excludes trampolines (83,292 injuries).
(9) Excludes 6,393 injuries in skating, unspecified.
(10) Includes roller skating (53,835 injuries) and in-line skating (13,439 injuries).
(11) Data for 2009.
(12) Includes injuries associated with swimming, swimming pools, pool slides, diving or diving boards and swimming pool equipment.

NA= Data not available.

Source: National Safety Council.

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