By Jennifer Lucarelli
Contrary to what some parents may think, gymnastics is considered by some as the football of girls sports when it comes to injuries.
Though it's a graceful and exciting sport to watch and participate, a new national study, the first-of-its kind, shows gymnastics has one of the highest injury rates of all girls' sports, ranking it among contact sports like hockey and soccer.
The study, conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio, compiled gymnastic related injuries from emergency rooms nationwide from 1990 to 2005.
The data revealed that children age 6 to 17 averaged 27,000 injuries per year. That totals nearly 426,000 injuries during the 16-year study.
"Many parents do not typically think of gymnastics as a dangerous sport," said study senior author Lara McKenzie, PhD, MA, principal investigator for the Ohio hospital in a release. "In fact, many parents consider it an activity. Yet gymnastics have the same clinical incidence of catastrophic injuries as hockey."
Dr. Lyle Micheli, Director of the Division of Sports Medicine, Children's Hospital, and a clinical professor of orthopedic surgery, Harvard Medical School, agreed with the findings of the study.
To read more of Jennifer's article pick up a copy of the May issue and or visit Bay State Parent magazine's Web site at http://www.baystateparent.com/news/2008/0501/articles/004.html