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Extreme sports linked to 40,000 head an neck injuries per year


14 September 2014 Author Paul Quigley


Glorified in the "X Games" and shown on endless repeats in Ski bars throughout the World, skiers and boarders have fallen in love with the high risk sports such as mountain biking, skateboarding and snowboarding.


However new analysis in the United States has found that extreme sports have been linked to more than 4 million injuries since 2000, and now cause more than 40,000 head and neck injuries annually.


"We know that youth tends to push the envelope and take things to the next level, so the tricks involved in these increasingly popular sports are becoming more and more advanced every year. And that means more and more accident risk." said Dr. Vani Sabesan, an assistant professor in the department of orthopaedic surgery at Western Michigan University School of Medicine


Her team reviewed information collected by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System between 2000 and 2011. The data collected statistics on seven extreme sports that are promoted on TV and included surfing, mountain biking, motocross, skateboarding, snowboarding, snowmobiling and skiing.


According to the study, these seven sports combined were linked to more than 4 million injuries occurring over the 11-year period. About one in every 10 of those injuries were to the head or neck. Head injuries accounted for the vast majority of that group (87 percent) when compared with neck injuries (17 percent) and about 2.5 percent of both head and neck injuries were classified as "severe," meaning they involved a fracturing of either the skull or bones of the neck.


Snowboarding was linked to more than 97,000 head or neck injuries annually, accounting for 1.388 injuries per 100, based an estimated 7 million snowboarders across the United States.

Skiing ranked third on the head/neck injury list with more than 83,000 cases reported, followed by motocross with an excess of 78,000 injuries.


Overall, the annual number of head and neck injuries linked to extreme sports rose from just over 34,000 in 2000 to more than 40,000 in 2010.


Whilst trying to emulate your heroes is as old as time, parents especially need to ensure that they are taking the right precautions when sending their kids out onto the slopes and ensure that they have where ever possible the right protective gear, and the team at skicover.com are active promoters of the "Lids for kids" which promotes that wearing a helmet is not only sensible but cool.


However its not all doom and gloom. Check out these stats from the USA


 34,600 Americans died in motor vehicle accidents
 31,758 died from unintentional public poisoning
 8,600 died from unintentional public falls
 5,700 pedestrians were killed
 4,612 motorcyclists were killed
 2,500 people drowned swimming or playing near water
 900 died while bicycle riding
 28 died due to lightening strikes (2012 data)
 25 died due to skiing or snowboarding at ski areas