Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Mark Romanick


Introduction: Sports and recreation injuries are common despite efforts to make sports and recreational activities safe through rules of play and the use of safety equipment. Analyzing the injuries that result and the associated mediating factors can help to assess whether more effective preventive measures can be instituted.

Methodology: Medical records from an upper Midwest regional medical center were examined for sports and recreational injuries in youth (0-19 years of age) who reported to the emergency room during the years mid 2010 to mid 2015. Data from 2011 to 2014 was evaluated to have a complete number of years for data collection. Various categories were evaluated including sport/recreational activity, age, injury type, gender, and year of injury.

Results: This review revealed more than 900 sports and recreational injuries considered serious enough to warrant a visit to the emergency department over the 4-year period, 2011 to 2014. Sports/recreation activities with more episodes of injury included football, hockey, riding bicycle, and playground activities. Boys were more likely than girls to experience sports/recreation injuries by a 2 to 1 margin. Most common injury types reported to the emergency department were concussions, sprains, fractures, and lacerations. The number of injuries reported were nearly equal across all years of the study, with higher numbers of injuries experienced by those in their teen years.

Conclusions: It is accepted that injuries are inevitable when participating in sports and other recreational activities where speed and forces are increased beyond what is typically experienced in daily activities. In an effort to keep youth sports and recreational activities safe, factors such as rules, safety equipment, and proper supervision must be continually adjusted to decrease incidence of injury and injury severity.