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

Mother holding poster of son...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Donation drive to be held in honor of murdered University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe

Aaron Lowe's mother and team are honoring his memory with a cause close to Aaron Lowe's heart, involving and benefitting the community.

6 hours ago

FILE - New graduates line up before the start of a community college commencement in East Rutherfor...

Mark Jones

With student loan payments starting up, financial advisor offers tips

With the arrival of October, student loan payments will now resume.

16 hours ago


Curt Gresseth

Full-day kindergarten is here in Utah, but should it replace child care?

Full-day kindergarten is now an option for Utah parents. But should it replace child care as federal funding supporting it ends?

18 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) — The owner of a New York City day care center and a tenant living in the building ...

Mark Jones

Grantsville High School went into lockdown Monday, situation secured

A heavy police presence was reported early Monday evening at Grantsville High School. Few details were provided about the situation.

19 hours ago

A brain on a white background....

Amanda Dickson

Why our brains are getting smaller

Over the last 3,000 years, our brains have gotten smaller. They've shrunk about the size of a lime since then.

23 hours ago

Students walk through campus at Utah Valley University in Orem. Student Loan payments resume in Oct...

Derrick Jones

Student loan repayments set to resume: what you need to know

The restart of student loan payments looms after a pause in March 2020, these payments are set to resume in October.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

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