Mayo Clinic research says fractures and concussions are the most-common youth hockey injuries.

They conducted a retrospective study of 168 injuries in 155 children who arrived at the pediatric trauma center after a hockey injury.

"Most injuries occurred in boys and older children, though approximately 20 percent occurred in girls, which is higher than previously reported," Dr. Michael Ishitani said in a Mayo announcement.

"Traumatic brain injury and injuries to the spine were most common in younger children (≤14 years old) and girls, whereas injuries to the face were most common in older players (≥15 years old)," says an article by Ishitani and a team of Mayo Clinic and Kansas City's Children's Mercy Hospital researchers published in the journal Pediatrics.

Sixty-five patients needed hospital admission, while girls experienced 15.5 percent of the injuries overall and 8.3 percent of injured patients needed intensive care.

The researchers emphasized that "Injury patterns vary based on age, gender, and degree of contact permitted." They suggest more research is needed to "determine whether more-stringent guidelines on returning to play after a TBI are needed" and

Ishitani emphasized the need for parents and coaches to make sure athletes of all ages where protective gear and play with respect for opponents.

"I encourage parents and coaches to remember that kids are out there to develop their skills, be a part of a team, and develop into mature young men and women," he said.

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