Individual Sports Injuries


Lead Author(s): 

Scott B. Rosenfeld, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Individual sports injuries accounted for 53% of total injuries reported (970,500). One in five injuries occurred while riding bicycles or other nonmotorized wheeled equipment such as tricycles and scooters. These injuries occurred most frequently to children ages 6 to 10 years, but were common at all ages. Injuries on playground equipment were the second highest type of individual sport injuries, accounting for 15% of all injuries. Playground equipment injuries occurred almost exclusively to children age 10 years or younger. Skating injuries, which includes roller and ice skates, inline skates, and skateboards, were the cause of 11% of individual sport injuries.

Females accounted for a larger share of individual sport injuries (43%) than in team sports. Still, the only activity in which females had a significantly higher number of injuries than males was in gymnastics/cheerleading/dancing. (Reference Table 7.7.1 PDF CSV)

Individual Sports Injuries for Children and Adolescents Age 20  and Under, United States 2012

Fractures and sprains/strains each accounted for one-third of all individual sport activity injuries. However, the type of musculoskeletal injury varied substantially with the type of activity. Fractures resulted from playground equipment injuries one-half the time, and there were a higher share of fractures in snow sports and skating injuries as well. Sprains/strains occurred in two-thirds of track and field injuries, and there were a higher share of sprains/strains occurring in gymnastics/cheerleading/dancing and fitness training injury category as well. The most common type of injury reported from bicycle/wheeled equipment were contusions. (Reference Table 7.7.2 PDF CSV)

Type of Musculoskeletal Injuries From Individual Sports Activities Treated in Emergency Departments (ED), United States 2011-2013

Nearly 3% of individual sport injuries resulted in hospitalization.


  • 2014

Chapter Graphs

To save an individual graph, right-click and select Save Image As