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Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine ; 10(5 SUPPL 2), 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1916583


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on youth sports participation for children and adolescents in the United States. Prior work demonstrated that pandemic-related closures led to a significant reduction in pediatric sports-related injury in the first half of 2020. However, these trends have yet to be evaluated on a national level and during the latter half of the year when organized youth sports began to re-emerge. Purpose: To estimate monthly and annual trends in youth sports-related injury over the last 5 years using a national injury database in order to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on overall and sport-specific rates of injury. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) database identifying children and adolescents (0-18yo) presenting to US emergency departments with sport participation product codes (Table 1). Cases associated with >1 product code were excluded. The monthly and annual frequency of sports-related injuries was estimated. Quasi-experimental interrupted time series analysis was performed using the period of March-December 2020 as a binary variable. Differences in total and sport-specific injury estimates were calculated with pre-and post-trend analysis of the interrupted time series. Results: Our study criteria identified 152,560 youth sports-related injury cases corresponding to a national estimate of 4,582,892 injuries from 2016-2020 (95% CI=4,420,534-4,745,250). The mean yearly estimate from 2016-2019 was 1,041,944 injuries [890,047-1,193,841]. An estimated 415,115 injuries [357,779-480,594] occurred in 2020. Seasonal peaks in September and May were identified. There was a statistically significant decrease in national youth sportsrelated injuries that coincided with the nationwide COVID-19 shutdown in March 2020 (56,945 [33,143-80,747] fewer monthly injuries (P < 0.0001)). From March-December 2020, an estimated 457,221 [388,450-525,992] fewer sportsrelated injuries occurred than would have been expected based on prior trends. Sport-specific analyses (Table 1) demonstrated the greatest reduction of estimated injuries from March-December 2020 occurred in basketball (137,772 fewer injuries [130,192-145,246]), football (123,345 fewer injuries [86,883-159,807]), and soccer (70,383 fewer injuries [65,849-74,919]). Estimates of injuries associated with wrestling, ice hockey, and cheerleading had the greatest proportional reduction during the March-December time period (99%, 93%, and 79% respectively.) Conclusion: There was a significant reduction in youth sports-related injuries in 2020 coinciding with the nationwide COVID-19 shutdowns in March 2020 and persisting throughout the remainder of the year. Reduced injury burden was most notable for contact sports including basketball, football, and soccer.