Sports Score Big in ERs

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Sports-related injuries account for some 25 percent of emergency room visits for young people ages five to 24, according to a report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Because of the "significant amount of emergency medical use caused by sports-related injuries," suggests the report, the emergency room "is an appropriate venue to target injury prevention counseling."

The report claims that each year more than 2.6 million young adults and children land in emergency rooms as a result of playing sports, accounting for 68 percent of all sports injuries nationwide, and costing $500 million in medical care. Basketball topped the list with 447,000 visits, while cycling, football, baseball and skating (skateboarding, ice skating and roller skating) rounded out the top five. Playground accidents accounted for 137,000 hospital visits.

Those most likely to be injured are five- to 14-year-olds, with the injury rate dropping as the age ascends. These sports-related injuries, says the CDC, are more likely to affect the brain and the lower and upper extremities than are non-sports injuries.

The CDC report also shows that young males are more than two times as likely to be injured playing sports than their female counterparts. Contact: Catherine Burt (301) 458-4126 or