Kids Are Better Sports With Injury Prevention, Study Finds
"Safety first" seems to be top on the list for young sports enthusiasts, a new survey finds.
More than 81
percent of youths who did not have a sports-related injury also said
they were aware of the safety risks and guidelines, according to an
online survey conducted by the American Academy of Orthopaedic
Surgeons. In addition, 78 percent said they use safety equipment all or
most of the time when engaging in a sport or recreational activity.
seven-week survey gave each participant the opportunity to respond for
him- or herself, or a family member. More than 75 percent of those
reporting for their family said someone in the family has sustained a
adults who participated, the highest rate of injury is associated with
track/jogging (16 percent), while basketball came in second at 14
participants under 17 years of age, soccer caused more injuries, the
survey found; one out of four respondents reported sustaining an injury
due to soccer. Reports for all family members were slightly higher (30
percent) than reports for individuals answering for themselves (22
and leg injuries were the most common to adults and the second, third
and fourth most common to youth. In youth 17 years and under, wrist
injuries took first place: 47 percent reported such an injury.
half of injuries occurred during non-structured activities in an
outdoor setting, the online survey revealed. Adults and youth indicated
about one-fourth of sports injuries had occurred in or around school.
Eye on Prevention
injuries in children and adolescents can be minimized by a combination
of protective equipment and proper coaching, Dr. Robert Stanton, a
pediatric orthopaedic surgeon in Pensacola, Fla., stressed.
listen to their parents when instructed to use proper protective
devices (e.g., wrist splints for skating and helmets for bicycling),"
said Stanton. "Adults who are involved with organized sports for youth
should be familiar with the protective equipment that is appropriate
for that sport."
that adults admit to using protective equipment less often than
children, in spite of being aware of the advantages of the devices.
However, adult fractures are more difficult to treat and take longer to
heal than the comparable injury in a child and, therefore, adults
should be strongly encouraged to take advantage of the safety equipment
that is recommended for their sport.
Pros Outweigh the Cons
Overall, the health advantages of sports participation far outweigh the risks of serious injury, Stanton said.
adults alike should be encouraged to lead a healthy and active life;
this includes intelligent sports participation," he said. "With a
combination of proper training in safe sports technique, and the use of
available protective devices, serious injury can be minimized."
sheets on various sports and recreational activities, as well as tips
on injury prevention, visit the American Academy of Orthopaedic
Surgeons' Web site, www.aaos.org. Go to the "Public and Media Relations" tab and click on "Prevent Injuries America!"