OBJECTIVE: To ascertain the epidemiological characteristics of sports injuries in children in Hong Kong. METHODS: Retrospective review of all cases seen in the Sports Injury Clinic of the Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong, in the period May 1984 to December 1990. The variables studied were age at presentation, gender, side of the body injured, anatomical location of the injury, type and severity of injury, sport played, level (school, recreational, amateur and professional) and frequency of sports participation, length in years of sports practice, and initial management of the injury. RESULTS: Of the 2293 patients seen, 238 were youngsters (54% boys) 16 years old or younger. Ball games accounted for the greatest number of injuries, with 37 children taking part in basketball, 28 in soccer, 12 in volleyball, and 31 children taking part in a variety of other ball games. Of the remaining children, the single largest group was practising track and field, with sprinting and middle distance running accounting for 42 injuries, and 28 children were injured while cycling. Most of the injuries (85%) were classified as non-serious, but 15% of children presented with a total of 21 fractures, two joint dislocations, five concussions, and seven torn knee ligaments. CONCLUSIONS: Children sports participation in Hong Kong, although not at high level and not as widespread as in the West, accounts for significant morbidity. These injuries should be carefully monitored to ascertain whether they result in any detrimental long term effects.
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