The Most Common Sports Injuries by Age

  • Children Playing Soccer With Parents
    Have Fun but Use Caution
    Participating in sports or recreational activities is fun and good for you, but if you aren’t careful, it can be dangerous. Hospitals treat nearly 2 million people every year because of sports-related injuries. Injuries can be from accidents, overtraining, using equipment improperly, and not warming up. Common injuries include muscle sprains and strains, ligament tears, dislocated joints, broken bones, and concussions. Take a look at the most common sports injuries among kids and adults.

  • Children Playing at Recess
    Ages 5 to 9: Watch Out at Recess
    Children ages 5 to 9 visit the emergency department for injuries on the playground more than any other age group. Nearly half of all playground injuries are severe, including broken bones, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations, and amputations. Most of the severe injuries occur at school. Do your part by teaching your children: safety first. Ask your child’s school what practices they have in place to protect youngsters from getting hurt. For instance, since falls are common cause of injury, you want to be sure the surfaces under climbing equipment are soft and kept up well.

  • What You Need to Know About Sports Physicals
    Ages 6 to 19: Team Sports Can Take a Toll
    In this age group, sports-related injuries cause about 20% of all injury-related emergency department visits. Children and teens are most likely to suffer from strains and sprains, followed by fractures, bruises and scrapes, and concussions. Overall, emergency departments treat 1.35 million children each year for sports-related injuries. To ease your mind, talk with your child’s coach about steps they take to prevent injuries. Using proper sports gear is first on the list.

  • What You Need to Know About Sports Physicals
    Ages 12 to 17: Specific Sports Cause Most Injuries
    Older children experience similar injuries from specific team sports. The sports that cause the most injuries among 12- to 17-year-olds are football, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, wrestling, volleyball, cheerleading, and ice hockey. Teens ages 13 to 15 account for 37% of all sports-related injuries. Compared with boys, girls are eight times more likely to injure their ACL (anterior crucial ligament). Again, making sure your son or daughter wears the gear specific for that sport is one important way to prevent injuries.

  • Girl fell from the bike in a green park
    Ages 5 to 24: Bike Injuries Are Common
    Children and young adults ages 5 to 24 have the highest rates of nonfatal bicycle-related injuries. This group accounts for almost 60% of all bicycle-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments. To reduce the risk of head and brain injuries, all bicyclists, regardless of age, should wear a helmet every time they ride.

  • Soccer injury
    Ages 25 to 40: Adult Sports Are Risky Too
    Men ages 25 to 40 are most likely to get hurt from bicycling, basketball, football, baseball, softball or soccer. Of the nearly 570,000 basketball injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments in 2012, 93% were in men. Men also accounted for 88% of the 466,000 football injuries that year. Women ages 25 to 40 are most often injured from bicycling and softball.

  • What You Need to Know About Sports Physicals
    Injuries Vary by Sport
    Common injuries vary by sport as well as age. Basketball most often injures fingers, ankles and knees. Bicycling causes head and shoulder injuries. Baseball and soccer are hard on ankles, knees, and the face. Football damages fingers, knees and shoulders more than any other part of the body. Using proper technique, strength training, warm-up exercises, and stretching can help athletes of all ages prevent sports injuries.

The Most Common Sports Injuries by Age

About The Author

  1. Bicycle-Related Injuries. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Bicycle/.
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  4. Concussion in Sports and Play: Get the Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://cdc.gov/concussion/sports/facts.html.
  5. Game Changers. Stats, Stories and What Communities Are Doing to Protect Young Athletes. Safe Kids Worldwide. www.safekids.org/research-report/game-changers-stats-stories-and-what-communities-are-doing-protect-....
  6. Handout on Health: Sports Injuries. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sports_Injuries/default.asp.
  7. Playground Injuries: Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control. www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/playground-injuries/playgroundinjuries-factsheet.htm.
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Last Review Date: 2020 Nov 17
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.