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Itasca, IL – Children across the world will watch world-class athletes in Rio de Janeiro for the next few weeks, and many will start dreaming of athletic glory. Before embarking on that journey, the National Safety Council encourages parents to look at the data, because it can help them develop an injury prevention strategy so those dreams become reality.
According to NSC analysis of injury data[i], children ages 14 and younger comprise the age group with the highest percentage of serious injuries[ii] in gymnastics, soccer[iii] and swimming[iv] and diving – sports that routinely have high viewership ratings.
"World-class athletes are a testament to what we can accomplish when we work hard and dream big," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "Many of us learn life-long teamwork and leadership skills from playing sports. Being mindful of safety can ensure big dreams are not dashed by preventable injuries."
More than 107,490 children are seriously injured each year playing soccer, and swimming and diving account for 93,177 injuries. More than 26,800 children are seriously injured in gymnastics-related incidents. Basketball has the highest number of serious injuries each year for all age groups, with 181,417 injuries involving children.
The National Safety Council recommends parents consider the following as they think about sports injury prevention:
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council, nsc.org, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.
[i] NSC analysis of data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Data is published in NSC Injury Facts 2016.[ii] NSC defines "serious injuries" as those requiring hospital emergency room treatment[iii] Referred to as "football" in Rio de Janeiro[iv] Includes injuries associated with swimming, swimming pools, diving or diving boards and swimming pool equipment
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