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Obese kids more vulnerable to injuries

May 4, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new study found that the lower body bones and muscles of obese children appear to be more vulnerable to injury than those of their lighter peers.The Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center study looked at the weight and injuries of patients admitted to the hospital between 2005 and 2008. More than 23,000 children visited the hospital, mostly suffering from sprains to the ankles or injuries to the legs.

About one-sixth of the kids that visited the emergency room during that time were obese, according to the study.

"Because obese patients have an increased body mass and force, they are more likely to twist or roll on a lower extremity and cause injury than the non-obese children. Other injuries that the patients experienced were fractures and lacerations," said study lead author Dr. Wendy Pomerantz, a physician at the hospital.

Dr. Pomerantz went on to say that obesity can lengthen a child's recovery time.

"Parents of an obese child who want the child to exercise but (are) afraid of the child getting injured should work with a specialist to get a tailored diet and exercise regimen to help them lose weight," said Pomerantz.

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