Running-related injuries on the rise among kids: study

January 27, 2011

Columbus, OH – The rate of pediatric injuries related to running increased 34 percent between 1994 and 2007, according to a study released Jan. 27 from the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

According to a study abstract, researchers examined running injuries among children 6-18 years old who were treated in emergency rooms and found an average of 16,000 injuries annually.

The majority of these injuries were sprains and strains to the lower extremities. More than half of the injuries occurred at school, and approximately one-third involved a fall. Falls and injuries in school were more common among younger children, whereas 15- to 18-year-olds were more likely to be injured while running in the street or at an athletic facility.

“The findings from our study show that formal, evidenced-based and age-specific guidelines are needed for pediatric runners so that parents, coaches and physical education teachers can teach children the proper way to run in order to reduce the risk of injury,” said Lara McKenzie, principal investigator at CIRP.

The study was published in the February 2011 issue of the journal Clinical Pediatrics (Vol. 50, No. 2).