Obese Children Have Higher Rate of Lower Extremity Injuries

Obese children sustain more leg, ankle and foot injuries than nonobese children a new study has found. In the study, which will be published in Pediatrics next month, researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center evaluated electronic medical records of children aged 3 to 14 years who were seen in the emergency department for a traumatic injury between 2005 and  2008. There were 23,349 patients who fit their criteria and were included in the study. The average age was 8.2 years , 61.7% were boys and 16.5% were obese as defined by their weight > 95th percentile for age. Both obese and nonobese children experienced the same percentage of upper extremity injuries and had similar patterns of injury. However,  lower extremity injuries, such as sprains and strains, were almost twice as common for the obese children compared to nonobese children. Ankle sprains were the most common injury.

The authors concluded that obese children are much more likely to sustain lower extremity injuries than  than nonobese children and more likely to sustain lower extremity injuries than upper extremity injuries. The authors recommended strategies for preventing lower extremity injuries among obese children. More information on ankle sprains.


Pediatrics. 2010 Mar 1. [Epub ahead of print]

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