Injury prevention in paediatric sport-related injuries: a scientific approach
- C A Emery1,2,3
- 1Sport Medicine Centre, Roger Jackson Centre for Health and Wellness Research, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
- 2Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
- 3Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
- Correspondence to Dr C A Emery, Sport Medicine Centre, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4;
- Published Online First 27 November 2009
Youth have very high participation rates in sport, and sport is the leading cause of youth injury in many countries.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Canadian studies report that 30–40% of youth (ages 11–18 years) seek medical attention for a sport injury annually.2 7 While physical activity prevents all-cause morbidity associated with a sedentary lifestyle, injuries can become a barrier to physical activity. Injury prevention in youth is a critical issue in healthcare and in the promotion of health and wellness in our communities, and is becoming a public health priority.8 9 However, there is a discrepancy between the amount of research in this area and the public health burden of injury in youth sport where injuries are often predictable and preventable.10 An interdisciplinary and rigorous scientific approach is critical to understanding the complexity of injury risks, prevention and safety policies related to sport injury in youth.
Studies that examine prevention strategies are paramount in establishing best practices for prevention in youth sport for healthcare practitioners, sport and health administrators, policy makers, athletes, coaches, parents and the public. The results of research in this area are often pivotal in decisions made to continue, discontinue, allocate or reduce funds from given public health, sport and healthcare programmes. As such, a rigorous methodological approach to research in injury prevention in youth sport is essential to inform practice and policy most appropriately. The purpose of this paper is to advocate for a scientific approach to research in injury prevention in child and adolescent sport.
Framework for injury-prevention research
Sixty years ago, Gordon11 established the use of epidemiological principles often used to study infectious diseases, to examine injury and relate it to host, agent, and environmental factors. Gibson12 built on this concept by identifying the agent of injury as physical energy …