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The number of kids being injured in gym class is on the rise. Why? And how can it be prevented?
Injuries in PE classes across the United States have risen 150% between 1997 and 2007, according to research reported in the September 2009 issue of Pediatrics. McKenzie et al analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance Study of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission of children and adolescents 5 to 18 years old treated at the emergency department (ED) for physical education (PE) class-related injuries.
Researchers speculated that the increase in ED visits is a result of changes in the types and intensity of activities offered in PE classes, in an attempt to overcome childhood obesity; a lack of school nurses to attend to injuries; and fewer certified PE teachers conducting classes. They concluded that more studies are needed to identify the causes of the rise in the number of injuries and to determine appropriate injury prevention solutions and policies. The researchers noted that they used data only about injuries that resulted in ED visits and they may have underestimated the total number of injuries that occur.
Suggestions for preventing school activity injuries:
In addition to sports-related injuries, more than 200,000 children aged 14 and younger are treated in the ED for playground-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Safety Council.
Rules for playing safe.