1st US study -- gymnastics lands thousands in ER

Apr 04, 2008

More than 600,000 children participate in school-sponsored and club-level gymnastics competitions annually in the United States. Yet gymnastics continues to be overlooked in terms of potential for injury, while having one of the highest injury rates of all girls’ sports.

A study, conducted by researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and published in the April electronic issue of Pediatrics, examined data on children 6 to 17 years of age who were treated in hospital emergency departments for gymnastics-related injuries between 1990 and 2005. According to the findings, on average nearly 27,000 injuries are reported each year – nearly 426,000 injuries during the 16-year period.

“Many parents do not typically think of gymnastics as a dangerous sport,” said study senior author Lara McKenzie, PhD, MA, principal investigator in CIRP at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “In fact, many parents consider it an activity. Yet gymnastics has the same clinical incidence of catastrophic injuries as ice hockey.”

The majority of the gymnastics injuries - 40 percent - occurred at school or a place of recreation/sports. Girls were more likely than boys to sustain upper extremity injuries, while head and neck injuries were more common in boys.

Fractures and dislocations were most common for children 6 to 11 years of age, and strains and sprains were more frequent in the 12 to 17 age group.

“Our study suggests prevention and reduction of gymnastics injuries may be achieved by the establishment and universal enforcement of rules and regulations for gymnasts, coaches and spotters,” said McKenzie, also an assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Source: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Explore further: Research highlights differences in how young men and women learn about sex and relationships

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Why your laptop battery won't kill you

2 hours ago

News on Tuesday that major U.S. airlines are no longer going to ship powerful lithium-ion batteries might lead some to fret about the safety of their personal electronic devices.

Visa, MasterCard moving into mobile pay in Africa

2 hours ago

Americans may just be getting used to mobile pay, but consumers in many African countries have been paying with their phones for years. Now payment processors Visa and MasterCard want to get a slice of that market, and are ...

Lightning plus volcanic ash make glass

2 hours ago

In their open-access paper for Geology, Kimberly Genareau and colleagues propose, for the first time, a mechanism for the generation of glass spherules in geologic deposits through the occurrence of volcan ...

Recommended for you

Just a half hour of lost sleep linked weight gain

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Think twice the next time you don't get as much sleep as you need: A new study suggests that missing just 30 minutes of shuteye during weeknights could boost your weight and disrupt your metabolism.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.