All About Sports Injuries in Children

Sports injuries in children tend to occur quite frequently. Many times, they happen as a result of not paying attention to the elements that are fundamental to their prevention. For example, not using the right footwear, not playing on the right terrain, or neglecting to use proper protection.
All About Sports Injuries in Children

Last update: 29 January, 2020

Sports injuries in children occur quite often, especially among those who play a lot. Sports injuries are different when they occur in children as opposed to adults. Why? Because children’s locomotor systems have certain particularities, which lead to acute and subacute injuries.

Types of sports injuries in children

If you have a child in your home who is constantly playing sports, then it’s fundamental you be aware of the type of injuries that may occur. Among the most common are the following:

Acute lesions

Among the most common acute injuries are fractures and traumatic lesions to soft tissue. These have a direct relationship to any type of bump that a child experiences while playing. The most common acute injuries are the following:

All About Sports Injuries in Children

  • Dislocation of the medial epicondyle of the humerus (elbow)
  • Anterior tibial tubercle fractures
  • Pelvic avulsion fractures
  • Avulsion fracture of the tuberosity of the tibia
  • Avulsion of the inner part of the kneecap

Overuse injuries

Also known as stress injuries, this type of pathology refers to repetitive sub maximum loads. If they aren’t treated quickly, they can end up damaging a child’s skeleton. This type of injury has a variety of causes, among which are the following:

  • Mistakes that occur during training
  • Improper footwear
  • Preexisting orthopedic alterations
  • Inadequate terrain
  • Musculotendin imbalances

Studies regarding sports injuries in children

Certain sports can be more prone to producing certain types of injury in children. Knowing which sports involve a greater risk is fundamental so that parents can be on alert.

In 2008, the International Journal of Medicine and Science of Physical Activity and Sport published a study regarding this issue. According to this study, children who participate in the following sports are more likely to experience sports injuries:


This is one of the most popular sports for children around the world. Because it’s a direct contact sport, it’s more likely for different types of injuries to take place… especially to the legs and feet.

What’s more, injuries may occur due to the poor state of soccer fields. The use of inadequate shoes and poor control of the ball are also possible causes of injury.

According to the data that the investigation gathered, this sport is at the top of the list for school accidents, at 41%. Among the sports statistics, indoor soccer is another one of the sports that produces the greatest number of accidents in school-aged children.


Basketball is an extremely common sport among children and has a number of benefits. However, the incidence of injury is also high. The inadequate condition of basketball courts and the use of improper movements while playing are both contributing factors.

Therefore, the most common injuries that occur in basketball are twisted ankles, overuse, and injury to the interphalangeal joints and base joints of the hands.

All About Sports Injuries in Children

Basketball takes second place among the sports that cause the most injuries, accounting for 15%, according to the study.

Other sports

In the case of volleyball, if children don’t use the right ball, this can result in injury to their forearms. At the same time, injuries may occur during gymnastics and judo – however, they tend to be less frequent. Among the percentages of the investigation, gymnastics falls into third place at 15%, and the remaining 9% pertains to other sports.

How to prevent sports injuries in children

Many times it can be difficult to keep sports injuries from happening. This is because many involve direct contact and require a variety of movements. Even so, some injuries take place for other reasons, which is why prevention is such an important issue.

In order to prevent sports injuries in children, we suggest the following:

  • Proper use of sports equipment. Children should always use the right balls, protective gear, and other sports equipment for each sport. What’s more, it’s important to make sure they play on the right terrain and that the playing field is in good shape.
  • Proper training.
  • The use of the right footwear. This doesn’t just mean choosing the right kind of shoe for each sport and terrain. It also means making sure that shoes fit properly, etc.
  • It’s important for children to attend athletic institutions that teach proper techniques as well as teamwork.
  • When sports injuries occur in children, it’s important for them to recover completely before practicing sports once again.

Despite the risk of injury, it’s crucial for children to participate in sports, as they offer infinite benefitsWhat’s important is that parents be cautious and teach their children to take proper safety measures. That way, you can reduce the risk of your little ones suffering an injury to a minimum.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Pérez Turpin, J. A., Cortell Tormo, J. M., Suárez Llorca, C., Andreu Cabrera, E., Chinchilla Mira, J. J., & Cejuela Anta, R. (2008). La salud en la competición deportiva escolar.
  • Guzmán, P. H. (2012). Lesiones deportivas en niños y adolescentes. Revista Médica Clínica Las Condes23(3), 267-273.
  • Fernández Fairén, M., & Busto Villarreal, J. M. (2009). Prevención de lesiones deportivas. Ortho-tips5(1), 93-105.
  • Larraín, C., & Salinas, M. (2021). Lesiones Deportivas Por Sobreuso en niños Y Adolescentes. Revista Médica Clínica Las Condes, 32(3), 329-335.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.