Sports improve social and physical well-being, but injuries happen every day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 2.6 million children under the age of 19 are treated in emergency rooms each year for sports and recreation-related injuries.


For boys, athletic cups are vital to protecting the testicles. A fast-moving ball, kick or low hit in football can be the cause of an injury. Serious injuries like testicular rupture can happen when the testicle is knocked against the pelvic bone fracturing the normal covering.

If injuries to the testicle are not seen by a health care provider right away, the boy may be at risk for losing a testicle.

Pain in the scrotum (the sac that holds the testicles) after a minor hit, should also be looked at right away in case it is testicular torsion, which is a twisting of the blood supply to the testicle. If ignored, testicular torsion can cause permanent damage.

No pain in the testicle should be ignored, these young athletes can or will often play through pain without complaint.


For boys and girls alike, playing contact sports may raise their risk for a kidney injury. These injuries cause pain, but may first be noticed by the child if they urinate blood (red or rust brown). Urgent evaluation is always needed, but most injuries heal with time.

The kidney is the third most common organ, after the spleen and liver, to be hurt as a result of blunt force trauma. Urologic injuries in children can result from all sports, but especially contact sports. Most children in appropriately supervised sports are safe, but accidents do happen.

Information courtesy of the American Urological Association. For more information on Urologic Sports Safety, visit the Urology Care Foundation’s website: UrologyHealth.org

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