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Football tops in 'rare' injuries

Dec. 3, 2008 at 9:09 PM   |   Comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Football is associated with the highest rate of "rare" high school injuries, accounting for 21 injuries per 100,000 exposures, U.S. researchers have determined.

Researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, categorized rare injuries as those to the eye, teeth, neck and spine, as well as dehydration and heat illness. These type of injuries may result in high morbidity, costly surgeries and treatments, or life-altering consequences.

Study author Ellen Yard said football is also correlated with the majority of dehydration and heat illnesses. Sixty percent of these ailments occurred during pre-season practice after the athlete had already been participating for an hour, Yard said.

"Neck and cervical injuries were higher in boys at 8 per 100,000 exposures while girls accounted for 1 per 100,000 exposures," Yard said in a statement. "This difference could easily be attributed to girls not playing football. Of those neck and cervical injuries in football, 93 percent were caused by contact with another player during tackling or blocking. Overall though, boys had 12 per 100,000 exposures while girls had three per 100,000."

The sports studied included football, boys' and girls' soccer, volleyball, boys' and girls' basketball, wrestling, baseball and softball using data from the 2005-2007 National High School Sports Injury Surveillance study.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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