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Sports-related injuries account for one in five of children's emergency department visits

Research Activities, September 2009

Sports-related injuries, such as bruises, scrapes, and broken bones accounted for 22 percent of hospital emergency department (ED) visits for children aged 5 to 17 in 2006, according to recent data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The Agency's analysis also shows that in 2006:

  • Boys had three times more visits to treat sports injuries than girls (147 vs. 50 visits per 10,000 children).
  • Teens were five times more likely than children to be treated for sports injuries in EDs (154 visits per 10,000 15- to 17-year-olds vs. 30 visits per 10,000 5- to 9-year-olds).
  • Some 81 percent of all visits were for bruises, sprains and strains, arm fractures, or cuts and scrapes to the head, neck, or chest.
  • Only 1.3 percent of visits resulted in hospital admissions, mostly for leg and arm fractures. In nearly 99 percent of visits, the children were treated and released.

These findings are based on data in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Statistical Brief #75, Sports Injuries in Children Requiring Hospital Emergency Care, 2006, at http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb75.jsp. The report uses statistics from the 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of inpatient stays in all short-term, non-Federal hospitals.

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Current as of September 2009
Internet Citation: Sports-related injuries account for one in five of children's emergency department visits: Research Activities, September 2009. September 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/research-activities/sep09/0909RA34.html