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September 1995

Sports and Recreation Injuries in US Children and Adolescents

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY (Dr Bijur); the Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Rockville, Md (Drs Trumble and Overpeck); Graduate Program in Medical Sociology, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel (Dr Harel); National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Ga (Dr Jones); and Department of Pediatrics, George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC (Dr Scheidt).

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(9):1009-1016. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170220075010

Objectives:  To estimate and describe morbidity from sports and recreation injuries in children and adolescents.

Design:  Survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics—the Child Health Supplement to the 1988 National Health Interview Survey.

Setting:  The general community.

Participants:  Representative sample of the noninstitutionalized civilian US population. Five percent of the eligible households did not participate. The subject of this report is 11 840 children and adolescents aged 5 to 17 years.

Main Outcome Measures:  Medically attended non-fatal injuries resulting from sports and recreation, and serious sports injuries, defined as injuries resulting in hospitalization, surgical treatment, missed school, or half a day or more in bed. Sports and recreation injuries were defined as those occurring in a place of recreation or sports, or receiving any of the following International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) E-codes: struck in sports, fall in sports, bicycle-related injury, riding an animal, water sports, overexertion, fall from playground equipment or other vehicles, primarily skates and skateboards.

Results:  The estimated annual number of all injuries from sports and recreation in US children and adolescents is 4 379 000 (95% confidence interval=3 147 000 to 5 611 000); from serious sport injuries, 1 363 000 (95% confidence interval=632 000 to 2 095 000). Sports account for 36% of injuries from all causes. Cause and nature of injury are strongly related to age. Sports do not account for a disproportionate number of serious or repeated injuries compared with other causes of injuries.

Conclusion:  Sports activities account for a large number and substantial proportion of all injuries to children and youth.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149:1009-1016)