The Effect of Concentrating Periods of Physical Activity on the Risk of Injury in Organized Sports in a Pediatric Population

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Background:The trend in pediatric sport organizations is to regroup activities into tournaments. Sports-related injuries in children are a public concern.Objective:To evaluate the association between sport injuries and consolidation of physical activity in children.Design:A case-crossover study.Setting:The emergency department of a tertiary care hospital for approximately 1 year in 2006.Participants:Eligible participants had to be between 8 to 16 years of age, presenting to the emergency department for an acute injury that occurred during a timed organized sport event.Assessment of risk factors:A standardized questionnaire was used to evaluate the number of hours of organized physical activity, which was defined as a supervised exercise leading to competitions. The number of hours of activity was compared between case periods (48 hours and 7 days) and control periods of same length.Main outcome measurements:An injury was defined as any acute problem with organic tissue that occurred during a sport.Results:On average, participants performed 136 minutes of organized sport activity in the 48 hours preceding the injury for a mean difference of 8 ± 18 min. They also performed 356 minutes of organized sports in the 7 days prior the injury. This represented an increase of 40 ± 31 minutes compared to the control periods.Conclusions:More injuries were observed if the athletes had increased the concentration of activity in the 7 days prior. Although small, this difference reflected a minor clinical effect. In our study, we failed to disclose an association for the period of 48 hours.

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