ROSEMONT, Ill., April 29 /PRNewswire/ --
Keeping children active year- round is essential in helping them maintain good health, build muscles and
prevent obesity. However, recreational outdoor sports occupy more than just
the majority of children's free time during the spring and summer months;
these activities also demand a significant amount of attention in hospital
emergency rooms, doctors' offices and clinics nationwide, according to
estimates from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) on all
medically-treated injuries in 2003 for children ages zero through 19.
Children often believe they are invincible when participating in familiar
sports or recreational activities, but they are actually more susceptible to
sustaining sports-related injuries than adults," said James H. Beaty, MD,
pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and second vice-president of the American
Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). "While physical activity aids in
developing muscles, it is important to remember that children's bones,
muscles, tendons and ligaments are still growing, impacting their coordination
and increasing their reaction time." The AAOS' list of warm-weather recreational activities that cause children
to require care for medically-treated injuries, based on data from the
-- Playing basketball resulted in 1,066,004 injuries
-- Bicycling caused 832,775 injuries
-- Participating in baseball or softball resulted in 427,372 injuries
-- Trampoline use caused 211,646 injuries
-- Swimming accounted for 117,889 injuries
-- Playing volleyball caused 92,409 injuries
-- In-line skating resulted in 82,903 injuries
-- Tennis accounted for 20,514 injuries
The majority of these injuries are sprains and strains, cuts and bruises, fractures and dislocations of the extremities and trunk.
As part of its Prevent Injuries America!(R) Program, the Academy urges
children and adults to follow these important guidelines when engaging in any
type of physical activity:
-- Know and abide by the rules of the sport.
-- Wear appropriate protective gear (for example, shin guards for soccer,
a hard-shell helmet when facing a baseball pitcher, a helmet for bike
-- Check equipment first and know how to use it (i.e. breakaway bases have proven to be effective in dramatically reducing leg injuries in
-- Always warm up before beginning any activity.
-- Avoid playing when very tired or in pain.
-- Take rest breaks and replenish fluids during and after any activity.
Internet users can find additional safety tips and injury prevention information on children's sports in the Prevent Injuries America!(R) Program
section of the Academy's web site, http://www.aaos.org