Track-Related Injuries in Children and Adolescents Treated in US Emergency Departments From 1991 Through 2008

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John P. Reid, BS; Nicolas G. Nelson, RN, MPH; Kristin J. Roberts, MS, MPH; Lara B. McKenzie, PhD, MA

Table of Contents

Physician and Sportsmedicine:

Volume 40 No. 2


Clinical Features

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DOI: 10.3810/psm.2012.05.1965
Background: Track is a popular sport among children and adolescents. Track participants have a high rate of injury, often from overuse. Purpose: To determine national patterns of track-related injuries among children and adolescents aged 10 to 18 years treated in US emergency departments. Study Design: Descriptive epidemiologic study. Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission for patients aged 10 to 18 years from 1991 through 2008. Sample weights were used to calculate national estimates of track-related injuries based on 4496 actual cases. Bivariate comparisons between categorical variables were assessed with odds ratios and 95% CIs. Trend significance of the numbers and rates of track-related injuries over time was analyzed using linear regression. Results: From 1991 through 2008, an estimated 159 663 patients aged 10 to 18 years were treated for track-related injuries in US emergency departments, with an average of 8870 cases per year. The overall number of cases increased 36.3%, from 7702 injuries in 1991 to 10 496 injuries in 2008 (P = 0.039). Boys were more likely to sustain pelvic injuries and girls were more likely to sustain ankle injuries. Body parts injured varied by the specific track activity or event performed; hurdling was more likely to result in an injury to the upper extremities and to the head, whereas sprinting was more likely to result in an injury to the pelvis or upper leg. Conclusion: There are several age-, sex-, and activity-specific patterns of track-related injuries. Given the increased participation and corresponding increase in track-related injuries, more research is needed to determine how best to prevent these injuries.

Keywords: track; running; injury; emergency department; national electronic injury surveillance system