July 6, 2009

One in five ER visits are sports injuries

Sports-related injuries -- bruises and fractures -- accounted for 22 percent of hospital emergency visits in U.S. children ages 5-17 in 2006, officials say.

News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, also says that in 2006: Boys had three times more visits than girls to treat sports injuries -- 147 visits per 10,000 children for boys vs. 50 visits per 10,000 children for girls.

The federal agency's analysis also showed that in 2006:

-- Teens were five 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.

-- 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.