The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

New Study Reveals 5 Disturbing Youth Sports Injury Statistics

Posted by on Tuesday, September 30th, 2014


A new Safe Kids report out this summer has some alarming statistics for parents of children involved in sports. Here is one fact: 1.35 MILLION children were admitted to emergency rooms with sports injuries in 2012. That’s nearly the population of the Bronx, and that doesn’t even include the number of overuse injuries or more minor issues that aren’t serious enough for an emergency room visit. Skinned knees, stitches, concussions, sprains, black eyes, pitcher’s elbows — all these injuries go largely unreported in national databases, but you can be sure they will take their toll on your family.

The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine in NYC understands how difficult it can be to see a kid through years playing his or her favorite sport. We are fully equipped to help you treat and prevent injuries along the way. In today’s post, we share a few other statistics from the Safe Kids report with you to give you an idea about what sort of injuries parents are seeing.

youth sports injuries
Many respondents said they did nothing to prevent youth sports injuries. We have to change that! 

Fact: Of serious injuries, the ankle is the most commonly hurt body part.

Fifteen percent of youth sports injury ER visits involve the ankle. Other injuries include:

– The head (14%)

– Fingers (12%)

– Knees (9%)

– The face (7%)

Here at The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine, we have all the diagnostic tools to tell an ankle sprain from a fracture. We can help your child ice, elevate, and remove weight from the injury. We offer a full physical therapy program to maintain range of motion and athleticism while your child heals. In the worst case scenario, our skilled surgeons can repair the damage done using the latest techniques available.

Fact: “Girls are eight times more likely to have an ACL injury than boys.”

Girls who play baseball, softball, basketball, and soccer are most likely to tear the anterior cruciate ligament. Damage to a ligament may not sound like such a big deal in the overall scheme of things. Isn’t a little tear much better than a fracture? However, children with open growth plates may tear a ligament away from the bone, which is a more serious injury that takes longer to heal. Surgery and lengthy rehabilitation are possible with ACL injuries. Studies show that specialized training in how to pivot and land can reduce rates of injury.

Fact: Sprains and strains lead sports injuries in kids.

Overuse injuries — strains and sprains — are becoming more and more common, especially among kids involved in tennis, track and field, and swimming, according to the Safe Kids report. The most common diagnoses in 2012 were:

– Strains and sprains: 451,480

– Fractures: 249,500

– Contusions and abrasions: 210,640

– Concussions: 163,670

Our NYC sports medicine office is fully equipped to diagnose and treat strains, sprains, fractures, contusions, and abrasions of the feet and ankles. We, usually, see overuse injuries in kids who practice more hours of a sport each week than they are years old. So, for instance, a 10-year-old should not participate in a structured sport more than 10 hours a week. They also tend to happen to children who are hyper-focused on one particular sport year-round, rather than participating in multiple sports. Kids also need a few months off structured sports to fully recuperate their growing bodies.

Fact: There is little focus on sports injury prevention.

The researchers also found that 31% of parents, 28% of athletes, and 23% of coaches say they do nothing to prevent injuries. Coaches should be certified in sports injury prevention and understand what is necessary to keep young athletes safe. Parents should buy the proper safety equipment for their children and oversee how much (and what type) of activities their kids are involved in. Athletes should listen to their bodies and speak up when something hurts.

To protect your child further, you can visit us at The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine in NYC. We can give you practical steps to prevent injury in your child’s particular sport. We are also equipped to assess your child’s biomechanics to look for anomalies that may lead to injury.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.