Running related injuries up 34 percent among youth
Increased rates of running related injuries among youth raises concerns about the need for prevention.
In a national study, researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found running related injuries among 6 to 18 year olds has increased 34 percent during the past 14 years.
In the study, the researchers found 225,344 cases of running related injuries were treated in U.S. emergency departments from 1994 through 2007. Among 6 to 14 year olds, treatment was more likely to be related to falls while running at school. One third of the injuries involved a fall and one-half happened at school.
Lara McKenzie, PhD, and principle investigator at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital says, "Encouraging children and adolescents to run for exercise is a great way to ensure that they remain physically active. However, the findings from our study show that formal, evidenced-based and age-specific guidelines are needed for pediatric runners so that parents, coaches and physical education teachers can teach children the proper way to run in order to reduce the risk of injury."
Injuries sustained by 5 to 18 years olds were more to happen while running in the street or at a sports and recreation facility. The majority were from sprains and strains of the lower extremities.
The study is the first to identify running related injuries that the researchers say should be further investigated. The number of injuries treated, related to sprains, strains and falls among 6 to 18 years olds increased by 16,000 per year during the study period.
Clinical Pediatrics: doi:10.1177/0009922810384719
"Running-Related Injuries in School-Age Children and Adolescents Treated in Emergency Departments From 1994 Through 2007"