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Child, teen running-related injuries up

Jan. 28, 2011 at 6:59 PM   |   Comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Running-related injuries to children have increased by 34 percent -- to an average of more than 16,000 a year -- in the last 14 years, U.S. researchers say.

Principle investigator Lara McKenzie of the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, says an estimated 225,344 cases were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments from 1994-2007.

The study, scheduled to be published in Clinical Pediatrics in February, finds the majority of running-related injuries were sprains and strains to the lower extremities. One-third of involved a fall and more than one-half occurred at school.

Children age 14 and under were more likely to be injured due to a fall and while at school but teens age 15 and older were more likely to sustain injuries on the street or at a sports/recreation facility.

"Encouraging children and adolescents to run for exercise is a great way to ensure that they remain physically active," McKenzie says in a statement. "However, the findings show 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."

McKenzie and colleagues examined a nationally representative sample of running-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments.

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