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Why do children suffer so many fractures these days?
Unfortunately, childhood fractures are on the rise in many countries. Researchers are now investigating the possible causes for this. They found that lack of physical activity and poor coordination are the likely causes of the injuries.
The scientists from Perth Children's Hospital and Edith Cowan University found in their current joint study that a lack of physical activity seems to lead to more and more fractures in childhood. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Archives of Osteoporosis".
Broken bones in children are constantly increasing
There is a steady increase in bone fractures in children aged 0 to 16 years over a decade, the experts explain. In the current study, the researchers have now attempted to determine the causes of this increase in fractures.
Boys suffer fractures more often
A total of 31,340 admissions to Princess Margaret Hospital were analyzed in more detail for the study. According to the doctors, there was an increase in the rate of fractures from 0.63 percent in 2005 to 0.85 percent in 2015. It was noticed that boys suffer fractures more often than girls. In general, the upper extremities were most commonly affected by fractures, the scientists add.
Has the general quality of the bones deteriorated?
The results of the study have raised great concerns about children's health, says study author Professor Aris Siafarikas from Perth Children's Hospital. It is known that there are more fractures today than before, but research needs to be continued to determine the underlying mechanism. The quality of the bones or our general behavior could, for example, lead to increased rates of injuries, Professor Siafarikas explains further.
Poor coordination leads to more fractures in children
It is already known that children with poor coordination suffer more fractures. Could this indicate that affected children simply don't know how to fall properly? Physical activity improves bone structure and prevents fractures, so children should simply become more active and improve their coordination to avoid fractures, the study's authors advise.
More research is needed
Further investigation is now needed to identify potential lifestyle factors that affect the incidence of fractures. Strategies can then be developed to reverse the increasing trend of fractures and improve bone health again.
Contact sports and winter activity can promote fractures
There is also a significant increase in the number of fractures suffered at the time when children participate in winter sports, says study author Dr. Nicolas Hart from Edith Cowan University. Of course, there are some fractures in children who do so-called contact sports, but this does not explain all the fractures, the expert adds. In the ten years of the study, there was a steady increase in fractures regardless of gender.
Childhood crucial for healthy bones
Physical activity and exercise help develop more robust bones than diet and medication do, explains Dr. Hard. Physical activity is the only way to simply improve the cross-sectional area and the robustness of the skeleton, the expert emphasizes. In this way, painful fractures could be avoided. Childhood is the best time to develop healthy bones and minimize the risk of osteoporosis later in life, the scientists add. (as)