Boys run a higher risk for facial injuries in youth sports
According to a recent study, boys are highly likely to get a serious facial injury while playing sports—particularly baseball and softball.
Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh reviewed data from nearly 170 children and adolescents who suffered facial fractures during a five-year period. They found that more than 10 percent of all the fractures reported were sports related.
Most of the injured, 80 percent, were boys between the ages of 12 to 15 years old. Forty percent of the cases noted were broken noses, 34 percent involved fractures around the eyes, along with skull fractures at 31 percent.
Study leaders hope the information will lead to better ways to protect kids on the field.
“This data may allow targeted or sport-specific craniofacial fracture injury prevention strategies,” said Dr. Lorelei Grunwaldt in a statement.
Though some of the injuries weren’t serious, almost half required the kids to be hospitalized. And a stunning fifteen percent ended up in the intensive care unit.
Baseball and softball accounted for almost half of all sports-related injuries. About 15 percent of the fractures occurred when the player was attempting to catch the ball. Colliding with other players was the next most common cause followed by falls.
Facial injuries that happened during basketball and football made up just 10 percent of the total. Surprisingly, injuries while golfing made the list when kids were struck by another player’s club.
In light of the findings, the researchers recommended that “proper supervision and efforts to promote following the rules and “fair play” may reduce the overall risk of injuries in young athletes.”
They also suggest the use of face guards and softer, low impact balls for youth baseball and softball players along with nose protection devices for soccer and basketball players.
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