U.S. Sports Report Card: C-plus

Dec. 7, 2010 at 10:56 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The National Athletic Trainers' Association says U.S. youth sports get a C-plus on its 2010 report card -- noting 48 young athletes died playing sports.

"Physical activity doesn't come without risk, and the sports philosophy of 'playing through pain' can result in young athletes, eager to make good impressions, continuing or returning to play, when sitting out and taking time to recover is the safest course of action," Marjorie J. Albohm, president of NATA says in a statement.

Of the 48 young athletes who died this year, sudden cardiac arrest accounted for nearly half of the deaths, concussion accounted for three, heat illness three and exertional sickling -- a result of sickle cell trait -- was blamed for one death, Albohm says.

An estimated 8,000 children are treated in emergency rooms each day for sports-related injuries and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds high-school athletes suffer 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year, Albohm says.

"There are three times as many catastrophic football injuries among high-school athletes as college athletes, yet only 42 percent of high schools have access to athletic training services," Albohm says.

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