Top 5 Most Dangerous Sports For Youth

The top 5 most dangerous sports for youth are football, basketball, soccer, hockey, and lacrosse, as they have a high risk of head injuries and concussions. Sports play a significant role in the physical and mental growth of youth, but some sports come with inherent risks that cannot be ignored.

Head injuries and concussions are the most common injuries that youth athletes suffer from, and they can have long-lasting effects on their health and wellbeing.

These sports require a lot of physical contact, which increases the likelihood of head injuries. In this article, we will explore why these sports are considered dangerous, what types of injuries youth athletes are likely to suffer from and what safety measures can be taken to prevent injuries.

Most Dangerous Sports For Youth

Most Dangerous Sports For Youth

1. Football

Is a widely popular sport that’s played all over the world. But as much as it offers excitement and a great workout for players, it is also one of the most dangerous sports for young players. In this section, we’ll explore the statistics on youth football injuries, the effects that football injuries can have on players, and some protective measures that can be taken to ensure the safety of young players.

Statistics On Youth Football Injuries

According to the centers for disease control and prevention (cdc), high school football players are at the greatest risk for sports-related injuries. In 2019 alone, around 382,000 football injuries were reported among athletes aged 5-18. Of those injuries, 8% were serious enough to cause hospitalization.

The most common types of injuries in football include:

  • Concussions
  • Fractures
  • Strains and sprains

Effects That Football Injuries Can Have On Players

The effects of football injuries can be both physical and psychological. Physical injuries can often lead to chronic pain and affect an athlete’s ability to play the sport in the future. For some players, the physical impact of an injury can be so severe that they may be forced to quit playing altogether.

Apart from the physical effects, football injuries can also have psychological effects on young players. A concussion, for example, can lead to depression, anxiety, and behavioral changes that can last long after the initial injury has healed. Additionally, players who have experienced a serious injury may be hesitant to continue playing the sport, leading to a loss of confidence and even depression.

Protective Measures That Can Be Taken

To minimize the risk of injuries, there are some protective measures that can be taken, including:

  • Proper training and conditioning: Enrolling young players in training programs before the season starts can help to improve overall physical fitness, reduce the risk of injury, and prevent overuse.
  • Safety equipment: Protective gear like helmets, mouthguards, and pads can help to reduce the impact of collisions and protect players during the game.
  • Following the rules of the game: Ensuring that players follow the rules of the game can minimize the risk of avoidable injuries.
  • Regular checkups: Regular checkups with a doctor or healthcare provider can help to identify and treat any injuries early, reducing the risk of complications and long-term health effects.
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Football can be an exciting and rewarding sport for young players, but it’s essential to take the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of injuries. By following safety guidelines and taking protective measures, you can ensure that young players can enjoy the sport safely and minimize the risk of serious injuries.


2. Gymnastics

Common Injuries In Gymnastics

One of the most dangerous sports for youth is gymnastics. Although it is a graceful and elegant sport, it requires a lot of strength, flexibility, and practice to execute the routines safely.

  • Sprained ankles and wrists
  • Fractured bones
  • Dislocated joints
  • Concussions
  • Torn ligaments and tendons
  • Back injuries like herniated disks

Most of these injuries occur due to repetitive strain on the same body part or landing awkwardly. Requires a lot of physical activity, and these injuries can be expected if the athlete does not have proper form and conditioning while performing.

Long-Term Effects Of Gymnastics Injuries

Injuries sustained during gymnastics can have long-term effects that can negatively impact an athlete’s life.

  • Chronic pain: Complications from an injury can result in chronic pain, making it hard for gymnasts to perform physically demanding routines in the future.
  • Mental trauma: A traumatic injury could affect the mental health of a gymnast, affecting their confidence, causing anxiety and depression.
  • Disability: An injury that is not properly treated or cared for could lead to a permanent disability, and the gymnast may have to abandon gymnastics altogether or any other physical activities.

While some injuries are quick to heal, others may require long-term medical care. Therefore, it is essential to take proper preventive measures to avoid such injuries.

Discussion Of Preventive Measures

  • Proper conditioning: This is essential for young gymnasts. They need to be able to execute their routines with proper form and flexibility, which comes with training. The condition also includes strengthening exercises to improve body mechanics and balance.
  • Training: Receiving proper training from experienced coaches can help prevent injuries for young gymnasts. Coaches who understand the risk of injuries can guide young athletes on how to execute a move safely and carry out proper form.
  • Appropriate mats and equipment: It is essential to use the appropriate equipment and mats while training to avoid injuries. Proper mats ensure that falls are not as severe and that gymnasts do not slip on the mats.
  • Proper nutrition: Maintaining a healthy diet helps young gymnasts maintain strength, stamina, and overall physical well-being.
  • Listen to the body: Athletes should not ignore any pain they feel during training or competition, as it could indicate an underlying injury. If they feel pain, they should take a break, and seek medical attention to avoid further damage.

Young gymnasts can avoid severe injuries by taking proper preventive measures such as conditioning, training, using proper equipment, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and listening to their bodies. By doing so, they can enjoy the sport while keeping themselves safe and performing better.


3. Skateboarding

Is a thrilling and exciting sport, but it poses unique risks for young athletes. According to a report, skateboarding injury rates have risen dramatically in the past few years. Skateboarding has been known to be one of the top 5 most dangerous sports for youth.

In this section, we will discuss the unique risks associated with skateboarding, common injuries among young skateboarders, and safety gear and injury prevention tips.

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Unique Risks Associated With Skateboarding

Here are some of the unique risks associated with skateboarding:

  • Skateboarders often perform tricks and jumps that can result in falls, leading to head or spinal cord injuries, fractures, or dislocations.
  • Skateboarding is often performed in public spaces, such as sidewalks, streets, and skate parks, increasing the risks of collisions with pedestrians or other vehicles.
  • Skateboarders may also face unexpected obstacles or hazards, such as uneven surfaces, gravel, or debris.

Common Injuries Among Young Skateboarders

Here are some common injuries that young skateboarders might face:

  • Fractures: Broken wrists, arms, and ankles are common injuries among skateboarders.
  • Head injuries: Skateboarders who do not wear helmets may suffer severe head injuries, such as concussions or traumatic brain injuries.
  • Sprains and strains: Skateboarders may strain or sprain their muscles or ligaments when performing tricks, jumps, or falls.

Safety Gear And Injury Prevention Tips

Here are some safety gear and injury prevention tips for young skateboarders:

  • Always wear a helmet: A properly fitted helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries.
  • Wear protective gear: Knee and elbow pads, gloves, wrist guards, and mouthguards can reduce injuries to other parts of the body.
  • Choose the right skateboard: Make sure the skateboard is appropriate for your size, skill level, and the type of skating you plan to do.
  • Learn how to fall safely: Knowing how to fall correctly can reduce the risk of injury or minimize the severity of an injury.
  • Skate in safe areas: Avoid skating in busy or crowded areas and seek out skate parks or designated skateboarding areas.

Skateboarders face unique risks that can result in serious injuries. Young athletes and their parents or guardians should be aware of these risks and take appropriate safety measures to prevent injury. By following these safety tips, young skateboarders can enjoy their sport safely while reducing their risk of injuries.


4. Lacrosse

Overview Of The Sport Of Lacrosse

Lacrosse is a physical, high-energy sport that requires a specific set of skills. The game is usually played on a field, with two teams of 10 players each. The objective is to score goals by shooting a small rubber ball into the opposing team’s goal. To do this, players use a long stick with a net on the end to pass, catch, and carry the ball.

Prevalence Of Injury In Lacrosse

Lacrosse is known for its high risk of injury, especially among young players. A study revealed that between 2005 and 2010, there were 1,406 injuries treated in emergency departments that were related to lacrosse. The most common injuries were ankle sprains, followed by concussions and knee injuries.

Moreover, high school girls’ lacrosse has one of the highest rates of concussion in all of girls’ sports. This goes to show just how dangerous the sport can be.

Strategies For Reducing The Risk Of Injury In Lacrosse

Here are some strategies for reducing the risk of injury in lacrosse:

  • Wear protective equipment: One of the most effective ways to minimize the risk of injury is to wear protective equipment. This includes helmets, mouthguards, pads, gloves, and shin guards.
  • Proper warm-up and stretching: Lacrosse is a high-intensity sport, so it’s essential to prepare your body before playing. A proper warm-up and stretching routine can help prevent muscle strains and other injuries.
  • Follow proper technique: It’s crucial to learn and follow the proper technique for passing, catching, and shooting the ball. This can help prevent many types of injuries, including shoulder and elbow injuries.
  • Train properly: Lacrosse is physically demanding and requires a high level of fitness. It’s essential to train properly by building strength, endurance, agility, and speed. A balanced training program can help reduce the risk of injury.
  • Know the rules: Understanding the rules of the game can also help reduce the risk of injury. Players should be aware of the rules surrounding body contact and stick-checking, as well as how to play within the rules.
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Lacrosse is a thrilling sport that requires skill, physical fitness, and protection. While it has gained popularity in recent years, players and coaches must prioritize safety to reduce the risk of injury, particularly among young players.


5. Cheerleading

Is one of the most popular and exciting sports for youth. However, it’s not without its dangers. Given the risks involved, it’s crucial to evaluate the safety precautions in place for every cheerleading event. In this section, we’ll discuss the physical demands of cheerleading, the most common types of cheerleading injuries and some safety guidelines and training recommendations for cheerleaders.

The Physical Demands Of Cheerleading

Cheering requires physical strength, agility and mental toughness to execute various acrobatic and stunting moves.

  • Cheerleaders must have good balance and flexibility to perform complex jumps, flips and twists.
  • They need to have strong cores and leg muscles to maintain balance and execute stunts.
  • They have to display impressive upper body strength to throw and catch stunt partners.

The Most Common Types Of Cheerleading Injuries

Like any other sport, cheerleading comes with a risk of injury.

  • Concussions: These occur when the head takes a severe blow or is jolted back and forth violently.
  • Sprains and strains: These injuries can happen due to over-extension of muscles during jumps, tumbling passes or stunting activities.
  • Fractures and dislocations: These injuries can happen due to falls, collisions or improper stunting techniques.

Guidelines And Training Recommendations For Cheerleaders

To make cheerleading a safer sport, there are steps every coach and cheerleader can take to enhance safety and reduce injury risks.

  • Coaches must ensure that every cheerleader undergoes a physical examination before the start of cheerleading season.
  • Cheerleaders should warm up before practice or performance to reduce muscle strain, and they should cool down afterward to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Cheerleaders should always use proper techniques when carrying out stunts, jumps, tumbles and pyramids.
  • Coaches should make sure that cheerleading routines and stunts are age-appropriate and that cheerleaders are adequately trained before performing them.
  • Coaches should monitor and adjust practice times and intensities to prevent injuries caused by overuse.

As cheerleading can be a hazardous sport, coaches and cheerleaders must prioritize safety and train with caution. By observing safety guidelines, staying alert to potential injury risks, and carefully training and coaching cheerleaders, we can create a safer and more enjoyable cheering experience for all.

[FAQs] Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Top 5 Dangerous Sports For Youth?

The top 5 most dangerous sports for youth are football, wrestling, basketball, soccer, and cheerleading. These sports can cause serious injuries such as concussions, nerve damage, and fractures.

What Are The Most Common Sports-Related Injuries For Youth?

The most common sports-related injuries for youth are sprains and strains, fractures, contusions, and concussions. These can happen in any sport, but contact sports such as football and wrestling carry a higher risk.

How Can Parents Help Keep Youth Safe While Playing Sports?

Parents can help keep youth safe while playing sports by making sure their child wears the proper safety gear, staying up-to-date on injury prevention techniques, and advocating for their child’s safety with coaches and trainers.

What Should Youth Do If They Get Injured While Playing A Sport?

If youth get injured while playing a sport, they should immediately stop playing and tell their coach or trainer. The injury should be evaluated by a healthcare professional, and the youth should follow the recommended treatment plan before returning to play.

Can Playing Sports Have Any Positive Effects On Youth?

Yes, playing sports can have many positive effects on youth, such as improved fitness and health, increased self-esteem and confidence, better social skills, and development of leadership qualities. However, it’s important to prioritize safety to avoid serious injuries.


As we’ve just seen, there are a number of sports that can be dangerous for young people. While giving our children the freedom to explore their interests is important, it’s essential that we choose activities with caution and always prioritize safety.

By being informed about the risks and taking appropriate precautions, we can help keep our young athletes safe and healthy. When considering activities like hockey, football, skateboarding, or bmx racing, it’s important to weigh the potential danger against the reward.

With proper training and gear, many of these risky sports can be enjoyed safely. However, it’s vital to remember that even the most athletic and well-trained young people can still be at risk of injury. So, if your child is involved in a dangerous sport, make sure to take extra care to minimize risk and maximize their enjoyment and safety.

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