Study asks how safe is high school football?

Aug 15, 2007
Study asks how safe is high school football?
A recent study finds high school football players are more likely to have serious, season-ending injuries than collegiate players. Credit: MediaSource

Football, one of the most popular sports in the United States, is also the leading cause of sports-related injuries. During the 2005-06 season, high school football players sustained more than half a million injuries nationally. A study conducted by researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) at Columbus Children’s Hospital, is the first to compare injuries among high school and collegiate football players using a nationally representative sample.

According to the study, published in the August issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine, four out of every 1,000 high school football exposures resulted in an injury, while eight out of every 1,000 collegiate football exposures resulted in an injury. Although National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football players were twice as likely to sustain an injury as high school football players, high school football players sustained a greater proportion of season-ending injuries, fractures and concussions compared to collegiate football players.

“While football does have a high rate of injuries, injuries don’t have to be just part of the game,” said Christy Collins, MA, research associate in CIRP at Children’s Hospital and co-author of the study. “There are ways to reduce the number and severity of football injuries through targeted interventions. Because we observed high levels of ankle and knee injuries, we recommend increased conditioning of ankles and knees and rule changes aimed at protecting these vulnerable body sites. As most of the injuries to these regions were due to ligament sprains, targeted stretching exercises may also be beneficial.”

Running plays were the leading cause of injury in both high school and collegiate football, and in high school they accounted for the majority of season-ending injuries and concussions. Positions with the greatest risk of injury were running backs and linebackers.

Dawn Comstock, PhD, CIRP principal investigator, faculty member at Ohio State University College of Medicine and co-author of the study, suggested, “Additional instruction on appropriate tackling and blocking techniques as well as position-specific conditioning may help reduce the risk of injury during running plays.”

“Further research is required to identify those players most likely to be injured and examine what types of targeted efforts might prevent those injuries,” said Collins. “Also, there is a need for further analysis in the difference between high school and collegiate-level athletes and why high school players had greater proportions of the more severe injuries.”

ource: Columbus Children's Hospital

Explore further: Advanced care decision aids underutilized

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Audi tests its A7 driverless vehicle on Florida highway

1 hour ago

German automaker Audi made use of a Florida law passed in 2012 that allows for testing driverless vehicles on Florida highways this past Sunday and Monday, by requesting a shutdown of Tampa's Lee Roy Selmon ...

India's Flipkart raises $1 bn to tackle Amazon

1 hour ago

India's top e-commerce company Flipkart said Tuesday it had raised $1 billion (60 billion rupees) in funds as it battles US giant Amazon for supremacy in the hyper-competitive local market.

Recommended for you

Patient-centered medical homes reduce costs

14 hours ago

The patient-centered medical home (PCMH), introduced in 2007, is a model of health care that emphasizes personal relationships, team delivery of care, coordination across specialties and care settings, quality ...

New mums still excessively sleepy after four months

16 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—New mums are being urged to be cautious about returning to work too quickly, after a QUT study found one in two were still excessively sleepy four months after giving birth.

It's time to address the health of men around the world

16 hours ago

All over the world, men die younger than women and do worse on a host of health indicators, yet policy makers rarely focus on this "men's health gap" or adopt programs aimed at addressing it, according to an international ...

User comments : 0