Objective—To describe the epidemiology of fractures among children seen with sports injuries in a district general hospital accident and emergency department.
Methods—A prospective study of children aged 5 to 15 years who presented with sport related fractures from 1 September 1997 to 31 August 1998.
Results—The 255 children who had sport related fractures represent 20% of children seen with sport related injuries in the 5–15 years age group during the study period. The mean age was 12 and the male to female ratio was 2:1. Overall, football, rollerblading, cycling, and netball injuries were the commonest causes of the fractures. However, among the boys, football and rollerblading injuries, and among the girls rollerblading and netball injuries, were the commonest causes of the fractures. The most common place where the injuries were sustained was in residential areas (44%) while falls accounted for 59% of the fractures. The fractures involved the upper limb in 90% of the children and the wrist (43%) and finger (23%) were the commonest sites. Rollerblading and football injuries were the commonest causes of wrist and finger fractures respectively.
Conclusion—A fifth of children who are injured during sport sustain fractures. The various factors associated with an increased incidence of sport related fractures as well as possible preventive measures are discussed.
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