More Than Five Million Youth Treated for Football Injuries

Significant increase in the annual number of football-related injuries from 1990 to 2007

WEDNESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- An estimated 5.25 million children and adolescents in the age group 6 to 17 years were treated for football-related injury in U.S. emergency departments from 1990 to 2007, according to a study published in the March issue of Clinical Pediatrics.

Adam D. Nation, M.P.H., from the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues examined the epidemiology of football-related injuries among children and adolescents between 6 and 17 years of age treated in U.S. emergency departments between 1990 and 2007. Football-related injuries were identified through the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database, and national estimates were calculated based on weighted data from these cases.

The investigators found that an estimated 5,252,721 children and adolescents, age 6 to 17 years old, were treated for football-related injuries in U.S. emergency departments from 1990 to 2007. Although the annual number of football-related injuries increased significantly by 26.5 percent, the rate of injury per 1,000 population remained stable during the study period. Fractures, dislocations, and concussions were most likely to result in hospitalization compared to other types of injury. Youth in the 12- to 17-year age group were twice as likely to sustain a concussion, and they accounted for 77.8 percent of all injuries.

"The occurrence of all football-related injuries rose 26.5 percent, from 274,094 injuries in 1990 to 346,772 in 2007," the authors write. "The findings of our study suggest the need for increased prevention efforts to lower the risk of football-related injury in children and adolescents."

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