By Erin Holly McDermott, Sports Editor ‘23
In the United States, more than 30 million children and teens play organized sports. This gives rise to an overwhelming number of sports injuries in America. However, this number of injuries has risen from the past; raising the question, are schools protecting their players.
Whether it be a sprained ankle or a shattered leg, teenagers are getting more hurt than in past decades. According to the Immediate Clinic, “studies reveal that over two million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits, and 30,000 hospitalizations affect American high school students each year.” Every year the number of high school sports-related injury climbs. This affects all high school athletes as well as coaches and administration. An injury lawyer, named Weinstein injury law firm, said, “90 percent of student-athletes report some sort of sports-related injury. 54 percent of student-athletes report they have played while injured…According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control more than half of all sports injuries in children are preventable.”
One of the most prevalent and dangerous injuries that are extremely common in high school athletes is concussions. A concussion is the internal swelling and bruising of the brain, it can precede any major collisions of the head or neck. Concussion rates in high school athletes have nearly doubled in the past decade. However, concussion rates are assured to change between sports. Concussions are more prevalent in sports such as football and less common in sports like fencing or bowling. Comparatively, concussions are also common in sports that are not thought of to be as dangerous as football. A 2012 paper that was read at the American Academy of Pediatrics’ meeting concluded that concussions are 8 times higher in girls’ soccer and 4.5 times higher in girls’ basketball compared to previous studies. Surprisingly, women are actually more receptive to concussion than men. This is because of the lack of neck and head muscles that protect athletes from more concussions. According to Prevacus, a company designed to lower the rate of concussions, “Once an athlete has suffered an initial concussion, his or her chances of a second one is 3 to 6 times greater than an athlete who has never sustained a concussion,” Concussions are a real threat to high school athletes and a leading cause of injury in all sports.
In the past couple of years, studies have proven that the number of high school sports-related injuries have risen. Injuries such as concussion, ACL tears, and broken bones have become a regular on courts, field, and rinks across the country. Athletes are urged to know the symptoms of a concussion and report all injuries to the coaching staff.