Some advice for injury-prone or hypochondriac teens: Stick with swimming; it's safer than the other sports.
This data on high school sport safety was included in a new study in the journal Pediatrics. The study primarily focused on the relative dangers of cheerleading in America. Turns out cheerleading has lower injury rates than most other high school sports, and tumbles cause more injuries than pyramids. Who knew?
The metric is injuries per 1,000 athletic exposures. An athletic exposure is defined as one athlete "participating in one practice, competition, or performance." Injuries are defined as anything that required the attention of a physician or athletic trainer, or kept the athlete off the field for at least one day.
Stacked up against football, soccer, lacrosse, and even volleyball, cheerleading falls to the bottom third of the chart. Boys' swimming and diving was the safest sport surveyed. It's about 18 times safer than football by this measurement.