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Track Injuries Among Children in U.S. on a Rise

Update Date: Jul 13, 2012 03:54 PM EDT

There has been a high rise on the number of track-related injuries among kids in U.S. since 1990s, a latest study has found.

The study claims that the number of young people getting hurt during sports activities has increased by 36 percent between year 1991 and 2008, i.e from about 7,700 to about 10,500 injuries.

"Participation in track is a great way to encourage children and adolescents to remain physically active," the study's senior author, Lara McKenzie, principal investigator at the Center for Injury Research and Policy, said in a hospital news release. "However, the increase in injuries corresponding with the increased participation in this activity suggests we need to do a better job of preventing track-related injuries among our young athletes."

According to the study, football is the main sport among teenagers and children in the United States.

Activities included in track and field activities are sprinting, cross country, running, hurdles, relays, stretching and drills.

For the study, the researchers used data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System to track nationwide injuries resulting from the sport, reported Health day.

The research results revealed that 159,000 plus children and teens between the age of 10 and 18 years were taken to emergency rooms for treatments for injuries they got while engaging in the sport.

While the occurrence of some injuries was rare, some others happened more frequently. Fifty-two percent of those hurt were due to a sprain or a strain. Seventeen percent of the track related injuries were fractures.

"We found that the most commonly injured body parts varied across activity and across age group. For instance, elementary students were more likely to sustain upper extremity injuries while high school students were more likely to sustain lower leg injuries," added McKenzie, who is also a professor of pediatrics at Ohio State University College of Medicine.

"With this in mind, track-related injury prevention efforts may need to be tailored by activity for different age groups in order to most effectively address the injury concerns the athletes are facing," she said.

The study the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio was published in the journal Physician and Sportsmedicine.

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