- Over 5,000 school days are missed each year because of a student injury.
- 9-1-1 is called twice a day because of a student injury.
- A student is hospitalized every other day because of a student injury.
- School injuries peak in 6th and 8th grade then decline among high school students.
The Utah Department of Health tracks these injuries through a voluntary program called the Student Injury Reporting System. The data helps schools identify problem areas, eliminate risks for injury (such as repairing broken equipment), and develop programs to reduce students' risks for injury.
"Each year in Utah, enough students are hurt at school to fill the average elementary school classroom 143 times."
Why are students injured at school?
There are many factors that put students at risk for injuries, including:
- Poor monitoring and supervision of children
- Risk-taking behaviors among students
- Poor decision making skills among students
- Inadequately maintained equipment
- Lack of school personnel awareness of injury prevention
- Lack of athletic conditioning
- Lack of knowledge of appropriate safety procedures
Elementary School Injuries
In Utah elementary schools (grades K-6), 3,302 students were injured at school during the 2007-2008 school year. That's enough students to fill the average Utah elementary school classroom 143 times. In addition,
- 70% of student injuries occur on the playground or playfield.
- Two-thirds (65.2%) of these injuries happen during recess.
- The activities during which injuries occur the most are playing on bars (20.7%), running (18%), and walking (11%).
- The most common injuries received are possible fracture/broken, cut/laceration, bump/bruise/contusion, sprain/strain/tear, and possible concussion.
Secondary School Injuries
In Utah secondary schools (grades 7-12), 2,726 students were injured at school during the 2007-2008 school year. That's enough students to fill the average Utah secondary school classroom 121 times. In addition,
- 28.3% of student injuries occur in the gym. Collisions cause 36.8% of these injuries followed by overexerting or twisting (17%), tripping or slipping (16.7%) and using equipment such as basketballs, soccer balls, and volleyballs (14.3%).
- The majority of injuries occur during PE class.
- The most common activities during which injuries occur during PE class are walking (12.2%), from classrom activities (11.5%), and playing basketball (10.3%).
- The most common injuries received are possible fracture/broken, cut/laceration, sprain/strain/tear, bump/bruise/contusion, and possible concussion.