Prevalence and incidence of athletic related sports injuries in primary and high school children in the Cape Metropolitan area
Dantu.Frantz, Jose Merle
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Sports injuries are unwanted side-effects of sports participation in children and adolescents. ln South Africa, there is a dearth of information on sports injuries. The aim of the study was to determine if primary and high school children sustained injuries during athletics in schools and at competitions. This community-based survey would serve as an epidemiological basis for planning community programs to prevent injuries during athletic activities The study was conducted in two stages namely a retrospective stage and a prospective stage. The retrospective stage of the study attempted to determine if injuries did occur during athletics at schools in the Cape Metropolitan Area of the Western Cape for the athletics season between 1995 and 1998 and whether the data were adequately documented. The study found that accurate injury records were not kept at the schools. The prospective study attempted to document the injuries sustained during athletic competitions for two successive athletic seasons. The study revealed that injury incidence was high. A large proportion of the injuries sustained were musculo-skeletal injuries. The need for medical services to assist with the high incidence of injuries during athletic competitions involving school children was identified. An information booklet was designed to inform teachers and trainers of the situation in schools and to offer information needed to prevent the high incidence of injury. The booklet highlighted the types of injuries sustained by athletes participating in athletics, predisposing factors to these injuries, and recommendations to prevent the injuries from occurring.