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Characteristics of sports and recreation-related emergency department visits among school-age children and youth in North Carolina, 2010-2014



Characteristics of sports and recreation-related emergency department visits among school-age children and youth in North Carolina, 2010-2014



Injury Epidemiology 5(1): 23



Sports and recreational activities are an important cause of injury among children and youth, with sports-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) being of particular concern given the developing brain. This paper reports the characteristics of sport and recreation-related (SR) emergency department (ED) visits among school-age children and youth in a statewide population. This study included all injury-related visits made to all North Carolina 24/7 acute-care civilian hospital-affiliated EDs by school-age youth, 5-18 years of age, during 2010-2014 (N = 918,662). Population estimates were based on US decennial census data. Poisson regression methods were used to estimate incidence rates and rate ratios. During the five-year period, there were 767,075 unintentional injury-related ED visits among school-age youth, of which 213,518 (27.8%) were identified as SR injuries. The average annual absolute number and incidence rate (IR) of SR ED visits among school-age youth was 42,704 and 2374.5 ED visits per 100,000 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI], 2364.4-2384.6), respectively. In comparison to other unintentional injuries among school-age youth, SR ED visits were more likely to be diagnosed with an injury to the upper extremity (Injury Proportion Ratio [IPR] = 1.28; 95% CI, 1.27-1.29), the lower extremity (IPR = 1.14; 95% CI, 1.13-1.15), and a TBI or other head/neck/facial injury (IPR = 1.12; 95% CI, 1.11-1.13). Among ED visits made by school-age youth, the leading cause of SR injury was sports/athletics played as a group or team. The leading cause of team sports/athletics injury was American tackle football among boys and soccer among girls. The proportion of ED visits diagnosed with a TBI varied by age and sex, with 15-18 year-olds and boys having the highest population-based rates. Sports and recreational activities are an important component of a healthy lifestyle, but they are also a major source of injury morbidity among school-age youth. Physical activity interventions should take into account sex and age differences in SR injury risk.

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Accession: 053974943

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 29761235

DOI: 10.1186/s40621-018-0152-0


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