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The Most Dangerous Recreational Sports

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What are the most dangerous recreational sports? Maybe not what you would expect.

 

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Of the14.7 million visits made to the ER in 2010 [source: CSPC], 4.1 million fell under the category of sports and recreation [source: NEISS]. Though sky diving, skateboarding, waterskiing, cliff diving and cave crawling all might come to mind, none of these make top five list of most dangerous recreational sports in the country when it comes to emergency room admissions. So if these daredevil activities don't make the list, which sports do? Here are the top five:

 

 

#5. ATVs

All-terrain vehicles sent nearly a quarter of a million - 230,666 to be exact - riders to the ER in 2010.

 

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#4. Baseball & Softball

This national pastime tallied 282,008 ER visits in 2010, with hits to the face the most common injury.

 

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#3. Football

Not including injuries at the college or pro levels, amateur athletes and sandlot players made 489,676 trips to the ER in 2010.

 

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#2. Basketball

It's surprising but basketball is even more dangerous than football with 528,454 recorded ER visits in 2010. Half of these admissions were in the 15-24 age group and twisted ankles were the most common injury.

 

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The #1 most dangerous recreation event: Cycling.

Not motorcycling, but bicycling, road cycling and mountain biking. Some 541,746 injured cyclists made trips to the ER, with on-road cyclist accidents more common [60%] than mountain biking [40%] injuries. Why more road-biking accidents? Motor vehicles, which tend to stay away from mountain trails, are the cyclists greatest safety hazard. 

 

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Though "we should take reasonable steps to eliminate avoidable and excessive risk in sports, we shouldn't live in fear,"says L. Syd Johnson, a professor of kinesiology and integrative physiology at Michigan Technological University. "Being sedentary is also hazardous to your health." With proper protective gear and training, the risk of a sport-related injury is greatly reduced. So grab a helmet and embrace your inner-athlete!

 

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