Healthy You - Every Day

Prevent Common Sports Injuries

Learn the most common injuries for each sport and how to stay in the game, safer

sports injury

Health care providers treat about 8,000 kids for sports injuries every day in the emergency department. However, many of these mishaps can be prevented. This chart shows the most commonly hurt parts of the body for 10 activities and ways to make playing safer.

How else can you avoid injuries? “You can emphasize teamwork and positivity, rather than just winning,” says orthopedic surgeon Robert Friedman, MD, with Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute. “You can also ensure children avoid playing when they’re too tired or in pain, and you can get children who are hurt proper rehabilitation to prevent repeat injuries.”

Activity Commonly hurt Required or recommended gear Safety tip
Shoulder, elbow, ankle, head/face
Batting helmet with face shield, breakaway bases
Avoid overuse injuries by following Little League pitch count limits by age.
Ankle, foot, knee
Sport-specific footwear, mouth guard
After jumping, land with knees bent, not straight.
Arm, wrist
Avoid riding at night or on uneven or slippery surfaces; consider taking a riding skills course.
Field hockey
Ankle, head/face, wrist, knee
Mouth guard, shin guards
Supplement skills training with cardiovascular, strength and flexibility exercises.
Lower leg, ankle, foot, head (concussion)
Helmet, mouth guard, shoulder pads
Strength training and stretching can help prepare for this contact sport; don’t lead with the helmet when tackling.
In-line skating
Head, wrist
Helmet, wrist guard, knee and elbow pads
Skate on smooth surfaces, away from traffic.
Ankle, head/face, wrist
Helmet, wrist guard, knee and elbow pads
Using a skate park or other controlled environment may increase safety; children younger than 5 should not skateboard.
Ankle, knee
Shin guards, sport-specific footwear, mouth guard
Learn proper heading techniques and how to avoid collisions with other players; no heading for children ages 10 and younger.
Elbow, shoulder, wrist
Sport-specific footwear, racket with proper grip size
Strengthening the muscles used to extend and bend back the wrist can help prevent common injuries.
Ankle, fingers, shoulder
Ankle brace or taping, kneepads
Use resistance training to strengthen lower back, legs and shoulders; avoid jumping on hard surfaces in practice.
LVHN Injury Centers

Orthopedic Injury Centers

Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute offers the region’s only injury centers where you are seen by nationally ranked orthopedic experts when you need it most. Our team treats non-life-threatening orthopedic injuries without an appointment.

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