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New study finds water tubing-related injuries up 250 percent
Date:2/4/2013

Water tubing, a recreational activity in which participants ride an inner tube which is pulled behind a boat by a tow rope, has grown in popularity in recent years. Unfortunately, the number of injuries related to this activity has also increased.

According to a new study by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, the annual number of water tubing-related injuries increased 250 percent over the 19-year study period, rising from 2,068 injuries in 1991 to 7,216 injuries in 2009. Given that more than 83 percent of the injuries occurred during the summer months, this equates to more than 65 water tubing-related injuries being treated in U.S. emergency departments each day during the summer.

"Water-tubing can be a fun and exciting activity," said study co-author Lara McKenzie, PhD, principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "However, the increasing number of injuries is concerning and result from a participant's position on the water tube, lack of directional control and velocity and the number of riders per water tube."

The study, available online and appearing in the February 2013 print issue of the Journal of Physical Activity & Health, found that the most frequently injured body parts were the head (27 percent) and the upper extremities (24 percent). The most common types of injuries were sprains and strains (27 percent) followed by soft tissue injuries (20 percent). Impact with the water (49 percent) and contact with another water-tubing participant (16 percent) were the most common mechanisms of injury.

The pattern of water tubing-related injuries did, however, vary by age group. Children and adolescents under 20 years of age were more likely to sustain head injuries and to be injured as the result of contact with another person. Adults, on the other hand, were more likely to injure
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Contact: Erin Pope
Erin.Pope@NationwideChildrens.org
614-355-0487
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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