Sports accidents in the western U.S.

Wow—participation in high school sports in the U.S. is rising!
Whoops—there are lots of sports injuries!

Participation in high school sports has grown nationally since 1989. There were more than 7.7 million kids who participated in sports during the 2012–2013 school year.[1]

That’s good to hear, but the trend comes at a cost. Projected expenses for annual emergency room visits are estimated to hit $935 million nationally for youth sports in 2014.[2] There’s also a 50% chance per household of an emergency room injury within three years if family members play a total of seven team sports each year.[3]

A Sun Life research study projects that California athletes will visit the emergency room 290,000 times[4] and that Pacific Northwest athletes—those from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington—will visit the emergency room 142,000 times[5] this year due to sports injuries, with nearly half being age 22 or younger.[6] But that won’t likely stop these athletes!

Playing Sports in the Western U.S.—accidents can happen!

Western United States

Basketball, the most popular sport in every Pacific Northwest state, is projected to send the most Pacific Northwesters (approximately 40,000 out of 1,020,000 participants)[7] to the emergency room this year, at an average per player medical cost of $3,764.[8] Basketball is also projected to send the most Californians (approximately 114,000 out of 2,850,000 participants)[9] to the emergency room this year.

For all of these states, football is second in emergency room injuries and soccer is third.[10]

Of the sports analyzed in the study, football has the highest injury rate (8.5%).[11]

California

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On a roll!
More Californians enjoy in-line roller skating (rollerblading) than residents of any other state.[12] They’re also second only to New Yorkers in downhill skiing and second only to Texans in football participation.[13]

Idaho

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Slam dunk!
Far more Idahoans play basketball than the second most popular sports, baseball and volleyball, but more Idahoans play volleyball than either soccer or football.[14]

Oregon

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Serve it up!
Right on the heels of volleyball’s popularity as the third most-played sport by Oregonians, soccer and football tie for the fourth spot.[15] Although half as many Oregonians play football as they do basketball, the gridiron nearly ties basketball for the number of emergency room visits.

Washington

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Kick off!
Washingtonians like soccer, ranking it number two of seven team sports played in the state.[16] They also have the highest absolute participation in baseball and softball than all other Pacific Northwest residents.

[1] National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), Sports Participation State-by-State, 2013, for year-2012, age seven and up; and National Federation of State High School Associations.

[2] Ferguson, RW, Safe Kids Worldwide: (a) Analysis of Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), 2013; (b) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. WISQARS Cost of Injury Report: http://wisqars.cdc.gov:8080/costT/

[3] Sun Life Financial, Sports Participation and Injuries by Region, 2014. Each injury rate per year was extrapolated over multiple years and multiple sports, assuming each year and sport was independent of all others. For example, it was not assumed that either (a) having an injury in a sport or (b) not having an injury over a period of time created a greater (or lesser) chance of future injury. Projections estimate the risk of at least one injury occurring and do not assess the risk of experiencing more than one injury. The seven team sports are football, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, ice hockey, and soccer.

[4] Sun Life Financial, Sports Participation and Injuries by Region, 2014 Research Study. Injury levels were derived from correlating sports participation levels to injury rates. Sources: (a) Sports participation: National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) report, “Sports Participation, State-by-State, Year-2012” (ages 7 and older); and United States of Hockey, year 2012–13, http://unitedstatesofhockey.com/2013/09/13/hockeys-growth-in-the-united-states-2003-2013/; (b) Injury rates: Safe Kids Worldwide, analysis of Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), ages 12–17, 2011 injury rates, based on emergency room visits per 100 athletes. The total number of estimated California emergency room injuries for seven team sports in 2012 is 291,698. The total projected 2014 California sports injury figure represents a conservative approximation, since it omits (a) injuries from many activities, including lacrosse, wrestling, skiing, skateboarding, and cheerleading, and (b) the small number of injuries that sent athletes directly to hospitals or to urgent care centers without going through an emergency room. These factors help counterbalance potential 2012 to 2014 declines in sports participation.

[5] Sun Life Financial, Sports Participation and Injuries by Region, 2014 Research Study. Injury levels were derived from correlating sports participation levels to injury rates. Sources: (a) Sports participation: National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) report, “Sports Participation, State-by-State, Year-2012” (ages 7 and older); and United States of Hockey, year 2012–13, http://unitedstatesofhockey.com/2013/09/13/hockeys-growth-in-the-united-states-2003-2013/; (b) Injury rates: Safe Kids Worldwide, analysis of Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), ages 12–17, 2011 injury rates, based on emergency room visits per 100 athletes. The total number of estimated Pacific Northwest emergency room injuries for seven team sports in 2012 is 142,749. The total projected 2014 Pacific Northwest sports injury figure represents a conservative approximation, since it omits: (a) injuries from many activities, including lacrosse, wrestling, skiing, skateboarding, and cheerleading, and (b) the small number of injuries that sent athletes directly to hospitals or to urgent care centers without going through an emergency room. These factors help counterbalance potential 2012 to 2014 declines in sports participation.

[6] National Sporting Goods Association. Estimates that 50% of the projected emergency room sports injuries are experienced by youth age 22 and under compared to all athletes age 7 and older were estimated based on the proportion of participation by youth under age 18 versus under age 25: On a weighted average basis, the proportion of participants under age 18 in baseball, basketball, soccer, softball, and volleyball comprised 42% of all participation in 2012, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. The proportion of participants under age 25 comprised 57% of all participation.

[7] See footnote 5.

[8] Sun Life Financial, Sports Participation and Injuries by Region, 2014 Research Study. For athletes ages 65 and younger. Represents total medical charges paid by medical insurance, the athlete, or by the athlete’s parent or guardian. Based on Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) data on: (a) ages 65 and younger emergency department and hospital admissions (2012), (b) 2008 medical costs, adjusted to 2012 based on medical cost inflation data from Economic Report of the President, 2013. Note: Health insurance may cover some or all accident medical costs, though in many cases, the insured must first pay a deductible.

[9] See footnote 4.

[10] See footnote 4.

[11] Safe Kids Worldwide, “Game Changers.” Analysis of Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), ages 12–17, 2011 injury rates, based on emergency room visits per 100 athletes. Sun Life assumed injury rates by sport were constant in each U.S. state.

[12] See footnote 1.

[13] See footnote 1.

[14] Sun Life Financial, Sports Participation and Injuries by Region, 2014. Correlates NSGA participation data to Safe Kids World Wide injury rates. Based on: (a) NSGA report, “Sports Participation, State-by-State, Year-2012” (ages 7 and older); and (b) Safe Kids Worldwide, analysis of Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), ages 12–17 2011 injury rates, based on emergency room visits per 100 athletes. The National Sporting Goods Association estimates that 50% of the projected emergency room sports injuries are experienced by youth age 22 and under compared to all athletes age 7 and older was estimated based on the proportion of participation by youth under age 18 versus under age 25: On a weighted average basis, the proportion of participants under age 18 in baseball, basketball, soccer, softball, and volleyball comprised 42% of all participation in 2012, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. The proportion of participants under age 25 comprised 57% of all participation.

[15] Sun Life Financial, Sports Participation and Injuries by Region, 2014 Research Study. National Sporting Goods Association, Sports Participation State-by-State, 2013, for year-2012, age seven and up; all hockey participation figures from United States of Hockey for year 2012–13, http://unitedstatesofhockey.com/2013/09/13/hockeys-growth-in-the-united-states-2003-2013/.

[16] See footnote 1.

GVACWC-4713 SLPC 26120 10/14 (exp. 10/16)