Purpose: We define the risk of kidney or testicle injury in children who play contact sports. Materials and Methods: National Pediatric Trauma Registry data from 50 United States pediatric trauma centers for 1990 to 1999 were analyzed. The data were from age groups 5 to 11, 12 to 14 and 15 to 18 years. Major abdominal injuries, injuries due to team and individual contact sports, and the site of injury were examined. Results: Of the 81,923 cases 5,439 were sports related. Abdominal injuries occurred in 459 patients (0.56%), and were due to contact sports in 191. Team sports were involved in 184 cases, including football in 44%, hockey in 19%, baseball in 15%, soccer in 12% and basketball in 6%. Abdominal injury rate by age was 16% for 5 to 11-year olds, 42% for 12 to 14-year-olds and 42% for 15 to 18-year-olds. Most common was splenic injury at 50% of cases, kidney injuries occurred in 22% and no testicle injuries were reported. Football accounted for the most kidney injuries (62%). Kidney injuries were more common among older teenagers. No injuries led to nephrectomy. Conclusions: Abdominal injuries are rare in children who play team and individual contact sports. No testicular injuries were reported. Kidneys are most at risk in football. Splenic injuries are most common overall, although the risk to kidney and spleen is equal in basketball. No kidneys were reported as lost. These data should help families and schools when assessing risk to genitourinary organs during these activities.
- Athletic injuries
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