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Sports Injuries Caused 1 in 5 Emergency Department Visits for Kids

AHRQ News and Numbers, July 1, 2009

AHRQ News and Numbers provides statistical highlights on the use and cost of health services and health insurance in the United States.

Sports-related injuries such as bruises, scrapes, and broken bones accounted for 22 percent of hospital emergency department visits for children ages 5 to 17 in 2006, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The Federal agency's analysis also shows that in 2006:

  • Boys had 3 times more visits to treat sports injuries than did girls (147 visits per 10,000 children vs. 50 visits per 10,000 children).
  • Teens were 5 times more likely than children to be treated for sports injuries in emergency departments (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.

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data in Sports Injuries in Children Requiring Hospital Emergency Care, 2006. 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. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90 percent of all discharges in the United States and include all patients, regardless of insurance type, as well as the uninsured.

For more information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at (301) 427-1539).

Current as of July 2009
Internet Citation: Sports Injuries Caused 1 in 5 Emergency Department Visits for Kids: AHRQ News and Numbers, July 1, 2009. July 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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