Youth Sports and Injury

Letting your kids play sports isn't just a matter of dropping them off at the field. It's important to consider safety issues; the potential for injury is not a matter to overlook.

In this infographic, you will learn about the types of injuries that children suffer from in youth sports.

injuries from youth sports

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Each year, more than 2.6 million young people under the age of 19 receive emergency department treatment for recreation and sports related injuries.

While playing a sport, there's a risk that young athletes could experience severe health problems.

Some common youth injuries due to sports include:

  • Heat illness
  • Concussions

These considerations have led to a need for better sports health care for youth.

According to a recent survey of parents, here's a breakdown of the type of injuries they stated their children have suffered:

  • Cut/scrape: 57%
  • Bruises: 50%
  • Sprain/strain/pulled muscle or ligament: 35%
  • Overuse/stress injury: 20%
  • Dehydration: 20%
  • Broken bone: 15%
  • Concussion/head injury: 14%
  • Child has never suffered any of these: 60%

Common Injuries


  • Ligament injury


  • Muscle/tendon injury

Repetitive Motion Injuries

  • A result of overusing tendons/muscles.
  • Injuries include stress fractures and tendinitis.

Growth Plate Injuries

  • Injured areas of developing tissues on the ends of long bones.
  • This type of injury can only occur in children and adolescents when the growth plate is not yet solid bone.

Health-Related Illnesses

  • Includes dehydration, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion.
  • These illnesses are potentially fatal and particularly problematic for children, partly because they perspire less than adults do.

Long-Term Consequences

Some injuries can end up posing greater problems as time goes on.

If someone suffers from a repeat concussion, there can be serious consequences.

  • A repeat concussion is a second concussion that occurs before the brain has recovered from a first concussion.
  • This could be within hours, days or even weeks.
  • It could slow down the recovery process or ever lead to worse outcomes:
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Brain Swelling
  • Death

Even ACL tears can lead to more problems than you might assume:

  • It's possible that ACL injuries in kids are increasing in frequency across the U.S.
  • At the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, ACL tears in patients under 18 years old increased by 400% from a decade ago.
  • Almost 70% of young athletes' ACL injuries will lead to an early onset of osteoarthritis.

Steering Clear of Injury

To help kids avoid getting injured while playing sports, here are some tips to enhance their safety:

  • Make sure athletes cool down after playing. This allows their heart rates to return to a resting level.
  • Persuade athletes to take at least one season off. If they play all year, they're more likely to suffer from overuse injuries.
  • Highly suggest physical exams before sports. This allows the prevention and treatment of any conditions.
  • Have an equipment check every week. This will help ensure equipment is in good shape and fits well.

Athletes also need to stay hydrated.

  • They should be taking water breaks every half hour.
  • They may need more depending on the temperature and the amount of activity.

It's important for both parents and coaches to pay attention to prevention and treatment of sports injuries.

This infographic has been brought to you by Total Injury.

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