Common Types of High School Sports Injuries

March 26, 2019

Common Types of High School Sports Injuries

Sports accidents cover all accidents that occurred during a sports activity practiced within a club, during activities of recreation, or during physical education and sports classes.

Here are the main conclusions: Young people are much more worried about traffic accidents than sports accidents while the frequency of these is significantly higher: each year 850 000 young people aged 12 to 19 are victims of this type accident (with consultation with a doctor or hospital).

For all sports, boys are more exposed than girls because of more frequent sporting practice, a choice of more dangerous activities and greater risk-taking.

Accidents due to ball sports are the most frequent because these are more practiced. Gymnastics, skiing, and cycling are often sports causing trauma. Cycling and skiing are also, with motorsports, horse riding and tennis, the sports that cause the most serious accidents (rate and/or duration of hospitalization).

The type of injury varies greatly depending on the sport practiced. For example, cycling or riding accidents often affect the head, neck and the upper limbs of the body (with fractures) while the accidents of tennis, athletics or jogging are more likely to affect the lower limbs of a body (with sprains). Young victims (15-19 years old) of accidents of everyday life (most of them are accidents related to sports or leisure activities) are teenagers who more frequently report adopting other risk behaviors in relation to certain addictions: alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis. Moreover, they declare themselves in less good physical health.

Sports injuries affect different parts of the body according to the chosen sport and the place of practice:

  • – The lower limbs (56.8%), more specifically the ankle and knee
  • – Upper limbs (26.8%), especially the head and neck

Sports that cause a sprain most frequently are jogging, tennis and ball sports.

Sports most often causing a fracture are contact sports, horse riding, and skiing.

In the age group 10/24 years, the average duration of hospitalization following a sports accident is 7 days. In 20.2% of the cases, reeducation sessions will be practiced. 1 accident out of 7 leads to a school break, and 6 out of 10 will be followed by a dispensation of physical education.

13% of young people aged 10 to 24 years old will remain uncomfortable, especially among the older of them and the girls. 17% will have scars and 16.5% will remain marked on the psychological plan. The severity of sequelae is considered important in 10% cases, and more than a third of them will have direct consequences on everyday life. 

Another danger: the misperception of the risk

Young people’s fears include fear of traffic accidents (dominates), regardless of age and gender. Thus, the perception of risk is very far from reality. Teens who are most afraid of accidents are also those who have been most victims in the last 12 months (21.1% of young people declare have had an accident). Overall, the expression of fears about health is less strong in young people than in adults.