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Dance injuries increase

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Young dancers are suffering more injuries than 30 years ago.

A new study by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found the annual number of dance-related injuries in children and adolescents increased 37 percent between 1991 and 2007.

“We encourage children to keep dancing and exercising. But it is important that dancers and their instructors take precautions to avoid sustaining injuries,” said Kristin Roberts, lead author of the study and senior research associate at the center.

The researchers pointed out that teenagers are still developing physically and develop imbalances that can lead to injury.

They recommend staying well-hydrated, properly warming up and cooling down, concentrating on the proper technique and getting plenty of rest.

The study examined dancers between three and 19 years of age and found that, during the 17-year study period, an estimated 113,000 children and adolescents were treated in US emergency departments for dance-related injuries.

According to the study, which is being published in the February print issue of the “Journal of Physical Activity and Health,” the number of injuries climbed from 6,175 injuries in 1991 to 8,477 injuries in 2007 with 40 percent of the injured dancers between 15 and 19 years of age.

Sprains and strains (52 percent) were found to be the most common types of dance-related injuries, with falls (45 percent) being the most common cause.

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