Sport can be a dangerous thing: 121,000 people ended up in hospital last year

Last year, 121,000 people ended up visiting a hospital accident and emergency department because of an injury sustained while taking part in sport.

The cost of treating injured sports enthusiasts reached €150m last year, plus an additional €190m in lost working days, according to a new report by safety body VeiligheidNL.

Some 35,000 were injured while playing football and 11,000 primary and secondary school pupils were taken to hospital after a gym lesson, the report shows. In fact, the under-18s account for half of all sports-related injuries, the organisation said.

Falling is the most important cause of injury and accounted for 60% of all injuries involving the under-18s.


Nevertheless, the overall trend is downwards, because more people are going to their family doctor rather than straight to hospital after an accident, VeiligheidNL said.

There have been some increases. The number of speed cyclists breaking bones has gone up four-fold since 2000 while the number of mountain bikers, runners and fitness enthusiasts with broken bones has risen by one third.

In total, 20 people, mainly swimmers and speed cyclists, died while practising their hobby in the Netherlands last year and 15 people, mostly climbers and divers, died abroad.

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