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Every 25 seconds a U.S. teen athlete treated for sports injury

Aug. 6, 2013 at 8:25 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Every 25 seconds a young U.S. athlete suffers a sports injury severe enough to get treatment at a hospital emergency room, a non-profit group says.

A report by Safe Kids Worldwide also found a young athlete sought treatment at an emergency room every 3 minutes for a concussion. Athletes ages 12-15 make up almost half of the 163,000 sports-related concussions seen in hospital emergency rooms each year.

Kate Carr, president and chief executive officer of Safe Kids Worldwide, said the study used data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System involving 1.35 million sports-related injuries. The report studied the 14 most popular sports of youth ages 12-17 in 2011.

The report also found knee injuries account for 1-in-10 sports-related injuries. Knee injuries, specifically tears to the anterior cruciate ligament, disproportionately affect young female athletes, who are up to eight times more likely to have an ACL injury than male athletes, the report said.

"We uncovered some surprising and disturbing data about how often our kids are being injured playing sports," Carr said in a statement.

"The sport with the most injuries is football, which also had the highest concussion rate."

The report said almost 3 million played ice hockey, there were 9,500 hospital-treated injuries of which 31 percent were concussions; there were 3.2 million players in wrestling, there were 34,000 hospital-treated injuries and 14 percent were concussions; and 9 million played football, there were 275,000 hospital-treated injures of which 13 percent were concussions.

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