Most Injuries Among Youth Football Players Mild
Wed Apr 24, 1:26 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The bigger they are, the harder they fall...and get injured, according to a new study that found that among youth football players, older, heavier players sustained more injuries than younger and lighter players.

However, most football injuries among kids between the ages of 9 and 13 years appear to be mild, according to Dr. Michael J. Stuart of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

During the 1997 football season, Stuart and his team monitored injuries among 915 youth football players. A total of 55 injuries occurred in games over the entire season, the authors report in the April issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

"Most injuries were mild, and the most common type was contusion, which occurred in 33 players," the authors write. Only four broken ankles were severe enough to keep the players on the bench for the rest of the season.

Stuart and colleagues also report that injury risk increased as players matured in age and grade level and was found to be four times greater for the kids in the eighth grade compared to those in the fourth grade.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2002;77:317-322.