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Dancing Injuries on the Rise for Children

Update Date: Apr 02, 2013 12:09 PM EDT

Children who participate in sports, dancing, or other rigorous physical activities have a higher percentage of suffering from injuries than other children who might not have the same aggressive exercise routines. According to new findings, the number of children dancers ending up in emergency rooms has constantly been on the rise. This new statistic reminds all that behind those entertaining and beautiful dance routines lays the huge risk for painful injuries. The researchers announced that the number of children dancers from the ages of three to 19 who needed a visit to the emergency room increased by 37 percent over the years.

The researchers of the study looked at injuries caused by dancing in toddlers and adolescents over the span of 17 years. They found that in 1991, the number of injuries was 6,175 and in 2007, the number jumped to 8,477. Although this increase does not seem to be a lot over such a long period of time, the number of injuries should ideally be decreasing not increasing. The fact that more kids are suffering from injuries stresses the importance of implementing certain guidelines that might be able to help decrease the risk for injuries. Furthermore, parents might need to help their children balance the right amount of practice and make sure that they are not overworking their bodies to the point where they become very vulnerable to injuries.

The researchers stated that of the 113,000 injuries, 52 percent of the children suffered from strains and sprains, where as 45 percent were injured due to falls. Of the injuries, 40 percent of them were in teenagers who were from the ages of 15 to 19. Only one fourth of the total sample group reported the type of dance that the child participated in. Of that quarter, over half of the injuries afflicted children in classical dance, which includes ballet, jazz and tap.

The researchers of the study could not pinpoint any specific causes for the rise in injuries, but they hypothesized several possibilities. One logical explanation is the increase in the popularity of dancing based off of new television shows and competitions. Older dancers might want to mimic the successes of those on television shows and thus, they put more pressure and strain on their bodies to perfect their dancing. In addition, there have also been more video games that include dancing, which can also influence dancers to want to dance more and be better at it.

Regardless of the causes, the increasing rate of dance-related injuries needs to be reversed. The researchers stress the importance of reminding children how to care for their own bodies. The researchers believe that their study does not even fully represent the real number of dance-related injuries because they only looked into emergency care. Dancers might be seeking medical care from clinics, medical centers, and primary care physicians as well.

The study was published in the journal, Physical Activity and Health

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