Gym class injuries in kids climbed to 150%

physical-educationPhysical education is essential for the mental, physical and emotional development of your kids.  Though physical education keeps kids fit, active and can help them to fight childhood obesity, but a research revealed that physical education related injuries in kids have been inclined by 150%.  Dr. Lara McKenzie of National Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, the lead researcher of the study says that the annual number of injuries related to physical education (PE) was 24,000 in 1997, which has climbed to 62,000 in 2007.  The amount is so significant that parents are bound to think again about their child’s physical activities.  I would like to share the findings from the research regarding injuries associated with physical education and reasons behind it.

The study which is published in the Journal of Pediatrics, says that- children-injuries

  • Majorly six sports have been accounted for 70% of the injuries — running, basketball, football, volleyball, soccer and gymnastics.
  • More than half of the injuries (52%) occurred among kids in middle school aged 11 to 14.
  • 23% of the injuries were sprains and strains in the legs.
  • 14% were injuries of the upper body and fractures.
  • Boys were more likely to be injured on the head, during collisions with other people and during group activities.
  • Girls were more apt to suffer strains and sprains in the legs and to be injured during individual activities.

What are the reasons behind elevated cases of injuries?

Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise, and other researchers...

said they think that gym class injuries are increasing because: exercising in group

  • Young children are being taught directly how to play sports rather than being given basic training like movement and body awareness.
  • A lack of supervision and school nurses may be part of the reason
  • Schools may stuff more kids into gym classes that becomes harder for teachers to supervise individual kid.
  • Non certified instructors may be another reason.

Data for the study is collected from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which is operated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

physical-activitiesI believe that it is important to provide general awareness and safety education to children as well as to the teachers.  A comprehensive training in injury prevention to the instructors can help in reducing the injuries.  Besides the schools must ensure that teachers and students use all appropriate safety equipment, for example laying down mats for gymnastics.  It is your duty to check basic information before enrolling your child for physical education course. If your kid has enrolled for physical education classes make sure that instructor is certified and your kid is getting personal attention by teacher.  Physical education is important for growth of children and so is their safety.   

Healthy Physical Education!!



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