Sometimes when we talk about sports injuries and kids, we refer to kids as a group as though they are all the same. New research is looking more closely at sports injuries for specific age ranges among youth and finding notable differences.
Researchers led by Stracciolini (2013) and colleagues compared sports injuries that young children experience with those experienced by older kids. Teens between 13 and 17 were more likely to experience an injury to the spine, chest and hip or pelvis area. Older children also comprised a greater proportion of those experiencing injuries caused by overuse.
Compared to younger kids, older children were also more likely to be diagnosed with soft tissue injuries. Other sports injuries more likely to affect older kids than younger included: ACL injuries, torn meniscus, and spondylolysis.
In comparison, younger kids were more likely to experience certain sports injuries like fractures including physeal fractures, apophysitis, and osteochondritis dissecans, compared to older kids.
Looking specifically at injuries to the spine, researchers found that females were more likely than males to experience spine related injuries, and they were often caused by overuse.
Based on the data, approximately 40% of the kids in the sample experiencing a sports induced injury needed to have some type of surgical intervention.