Popular Science

The dangers awaiting you in everyday sports

- By ELEANOR CUMMINS / illustrati­on by ULISES FARINAS

PLAYING SPORTS CAN TEACH teamwork, boost self-esteem, and improve health, but they’re not all fun and games. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are about 8.6 million recreation-related injuries each year, ranging from hand fractures in boxing to head trauma from falling off horses. Few of these are fatal, but they can quickly turn even the friendlies­t match into a bloodbath. By analyzing the millions of incidents cataloged in the National Electronic Injury Surveillan­ce System in 2018, we’ve pinpointed the most common—and surprising— athletic boo-boos and combined them into one über-dangerous event.

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