Back-to-sports: student-athletes mean student injuries

Aug 15, 2023, 7:00 PM

Lone Peak High School plays Bingham High School. Student-athlete injuries are always something to w...

Lone Peak High School plays Bingham High School at the high school football season opener at Lone Peak High School in Highland on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. Lone Peak won the game 27-7. (Megan Nielsen/Deseret News)

(Megan Nielsen/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Back to school means back to sports. Sports mean potential injuries. Nationwide, more than 3 million student-athletes sustained injuries throughout the season.

One of the most common injuries is a concussion.

When you think about students suffering concussions, it’s easy to point to sports like football. But only 10% of reported concussions arise from football. 

Some 37% of concussions among students occurred during lunch recess or physical exercise classes.

Looking beyond recess and gym class, the sports with the most injuries include football, girls’ soccer and boys’ wrestling.

But students can still suffer concussions in other sports like track and field, cheerleading and swimming.

Traci Barney, primary prevention coordinator for the Department of Health and Human Services, said the overall number of sports-related injuries is happening less often due to safety equipment and injury-prevention guidelines.

These guidelines and safety equipment are reducing more minor injuries but, in turn, making bad injuries more serious.

Barney recommends always following safety procedures, wearing helmets when necessary and being aware of a concussion’s symptoms.

Barney said it’s essential for kids to know to tell a coach or parents if they hit their head.

What can parents do?

To prevent concussions and other head injuries, wear a helmet, wear a seatbelt and talk to kids about the dangers of concussions.

But if kids do hit their heads, talk to coaches and parents. If not, “that can become very problematic because once they’ve hurt their head, if they don’t get it taken care of, they can easily hurt it again,” Barney said.

Parents should learn about concussions regardless of their child’s sport because it’s possible in any sport.

“The CDC [Center for Disease Control and Prevention] has wonderful resources for parents, coaches and kids, and it’s called the Heads Up program,” said Barney.

Certified Athletic Trainer Jessie Smith said there are ways to help prevent injuries among student-athletes.

“Proper nutrition, making sure that athletes are eating enough, it’s huge. That’s a real issue across high schools, in my experience. Making sure that they’re getting enough calories, that they’re getting good protein, good carbs, that they’re hydrating, stretching and sleeping,” said Smith.

Related:More Utah kids are getting concussions at recess than playing football

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Education + Schools

a helicopter shown, vertiport demonstration tonight...

Sam Herrera

LISTEN: UDOT and USU to conduct vertiport demonstration

The Utah Department of Transportation and Utah State University will conduct the state's first vertiport demonstration Monday night.

2 days ago

West High Principal Jared Wright with James Yapias in front of west high clinic sign...

Amanda Dickson

Healthcare inside West High School

The West High School Clinic allows students to see nurses, pediatricians, psychiatrists and psychologists right inside their school.

2 days ago

BYU nursing student Jane Pearson smiles before donating her bone marrow in late 2023....

Emma Everett Johnson, KSL.COM

BYU student donates bone marrow to potentially save stranger’s life

BYU nursing student Jane Pearson is donating bone marrow to a stranger through the National Marrow Donor Program.

2 days ago

Students walk at the University of Utah...

Amanda Dickson

Dickson: Who goes to summer school?

KSL NewsRadio host Amanda Dickson reflects on her first week of teaching summer classes at the University of Utah.

6 days ago

Disagree better toolkit...

Don Brinkerhoff

Local professors create ‘Disagree Better’ toolkit for parents

Professors created "Disagree Better" toolkit which includes free online courses to help parents teach kids ways to handle disagreements.

6 days ago

Samantha Corey poses with several members of the American Fork High School football team....

Kyle Remund

Deceased student will be honored at American Fork High School graduation following outcry

Alpine School District has announced that Samantha Corey, a student whose life was lost to cancer, will now be recognized at the graduation ceremony for American Fork High School.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Back-to-sports: student-athletes mean student injuries