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Sports and High-Risk Activities in the Summer holidays

Sports and High-Risk Activities in the Summer holidays: Summer in the UK is a perfect time for children to engage in various sports, enjoy the great outdoors, and stay active. However, with the excitement of summer sports comes the risk of injuries. Parents should be aware of which sports have higher injury rates to ensure their children stay safe while having fun. Let’s explore popular summer sports in the UK and highlight the ones with the highest injury rates, backed by hospital statistics.


Football is one of the most popular sports among children in the UK. It is played in parks, school fields, and local clubs throughout the summer. Despite its popularity, football has a high rate of injuries.

Common Injuries:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Fractures
  • Concussions


According to NHS data, football accounts for approximately 40% of all sports-related injuries among children aged 5-14 in the UK. Emergency departments report a significant number of visits due to football-related injuries, with sprains and fractures being the most common.


Cycling is another favorite summer activity, offering children the freedom to explore their surroundings. While cycling is a great exercise, it also poses significant risks.

Common Injuries:

  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts and bruises


The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) highlights that cycling accidents are a leading cause of sports-related injuries. Hospital admissions for cycling injuries often involve head injuries, accounting for 18% of cycling-related visits to emergency departments.


Cricket is a traditional summer sport in the UK, enjoyed by many children. Despite its seemingly low-impact nature, cricket can lead to various injuries.

Common Injuries:

  • Finger injuries
  • Bruises from the ball
  • Sprains


Data from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) indicates that finger injuries are the most common in cricket. These injuries often result from catching the hard cricket ball. Although less frequent than football and cycling, cricket injuries can be serious and sometimes require surgical intervention.


Tennis is a sport that combines physical activity with skill development. However, like all sports, it carries the risk of injury.

Common Injuries:


NHS statistics show that tennis-related injuries are less common but can still be significant. Sprains and strains, especially in the ankle, are the most frequently reported injuries in children playing tennis.


Swimming is a popular and generally safe summer activity. However, it is not without risks.

Common Injuries:

  • Drowning incidents
  • Muscle cramps
  • Ear infections


The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) reports that swimming-related injuries are less common but can be severe. Drowning incidents, although rare, are a critical concern. Non-fatal drowning can lead to significant medical emergencies requiring immediate hospital care.


e-Scooters have become increasingly popular among children and teenagers. However, their use comes with notable risks.

Common Injuries:

  • Fractures
  • Head injuries
  • Abrasions


A report from Public Health England (PHE) indicates that e-scooter-related injuries have surged in recent years. Hospital admissions due to e-scooter accidents have increased, with fractures and head injuries being the most common, accounting for 25% of all e-scooter-related emergency visits. This UK Government fact sheet presents the latest statistics for e-scooter casualties in reported road collisions from the Department of Transport.


Skateboarding is a thrilling sport that appeals to many children. However, it is also one of the more dangerous activities.

Common Injuries:

  • Wrist fractures
  • Ankle sprains
  • Concussions


According to NHS data, skateboarding injuries often result in fractures and sprains, with wrist fractures being particularly prevalent. Skateboarding accounts for a significant percentage of sports-related injuries treated in emergency departments, with a high rate of injuries among children aged 10-15.

While summer sports offer numerous benefits for children, it is crucial for parents to be aware of the potential risks. Understanding the common injuries and statistics associated with each sport can help in taking preventive measures.

Ensuring proper equipment, safety gear, and supervision can significantly reduce the risk of injuries, allowing children to enjoy a fun and safe summer.


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