youth sports injury

Which sports lead to the greatest number of sports injuries?

Sports injuries happen to a significant number of student athletes every year. The CDC estimates that close to 2.9 million children between 0-19 years of age are treated in the emergency room for sports and recreation-related injuries.

Parents with children that play sports should not let statistics prevent them from allowing children to play. Sports are a great way for children to build fitness, engage in social interactions, and relieve stress.

Before participating in any sport, your child will need an updated sports physical to evaluate their medical factors and if they are able to play a certain sport. But no matter what sport they play your child is at risk for an injury. But it is helpful to understand what types of sports have more injury risks than others.

So which sports have the highest risk of injury and may need extra consideration before enrolling your child?


Football at the professional and youth levels alike have come under intense scrutiny for their risks to athletes.

Most prominently, football has an increased likelihood over other sports of causing head injuries like concussions as well as many other physical injuries. Make sure that your child is adequately coached, rested, and prepared to play football in order to avoid a possible injury. However, even with preparation a student-athlete may experience a significant injury.


Cheerleading is one of the most popular sports among younger women in the U.S and is usually listed as one of the leading causes of female student-athlete injuries. Cheerleading requires both physical stamina and high levels of flexibility from athletes. Additionally, miscues or lack of preparation before a cheer event can lead to severe injuries.


Even though baseball is not a contact sport it leads to a significant number of sports injuries throughout the year. Many baseball and softball players experience arm and shoulder injuries from batting, throwing, and catching for extended periods of time.

Basketball and Hockey

Both basketball and hockey lead to a high number of sports injuries among high school athletes for differentiating reasons.

Hockey leads to a high number of injuries due to the physical contact between players and high-speed play in most games. Conversely, basketball leads to injuries as players make accidental contact and make more explosive movement on the court.

No matter what sport your child is interested you should make sure to fully evaluate the injury risks. Ultimately, youth sports are a safe way to get your child more physically active. But it does help to re-evaluate any potential sport before enrollment in youth sports.