Increase Seen in Pediatric Running Injuries

Research-based safety guidelines needed to reduce pediatric running-related injuries

MONDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A growing number of children are injuring themselves while running, suggesting a need for scientific, evidence-based research to create guidelines that will help reduce pediatric running-related injuries, according to a study in the February issue of Clinical Pediatrics.

Ann J. Mehl, M.P.H., from the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues used the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database to study cases of running-related injuries in 225,344 children and adolescents aged 6 to 18, who were treated in U.S. emergency departments for these injuries between 1994 and 2007.

The researchers found that the yearly number of cases of pediatric running-related injuries increased by 34 percent during the study time frame. Running-related falls were the source of one-third of the injuries, more than half of which happened at school. The average age of the treated patients in this study was 13.7 years old but the most injuries (42.5 percent) occurred in patients between 15 and 18 years old. Most of the injuries occurred to the lower extremities and were found to be sprains or strains.

"Running for exercise provides positive benefits for children and adolescents and is likely to remain a popular form of physical activity. More research is needed on youth running-related injuries and associated risk factors so evidence-based guidelines can be created to replace or validate the current consensus-based guidelines," the authors write.

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