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Injuries Rising as More Kids Take Up Golf

Head trauma from cart accidents most common, study finds

MONDAY, April 11, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- The increasing popularity of children's golf has teed off an upswing in golf-related head injuries among youngsters, a new study finds.

Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia reviewed the cases of more than 2,500 patients under age 19 seen by neurosurgeons between 1996 and 2002. They identified 64 sports-related injuries, including 15 golf-related injuries. Of those injuries, seven were caused by golf cart accidents, seven by golf clubs and one by being struck with a golf ball.

One of the children involved in a golf cart accident died as the result of uncontrollable brain swelling. Six of the 15 children required surgery. The youngest child with a golf-related injury was 10 months old. Skull fracture was the most common type of golf-related head injury in the children.

The study appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Lead author and neurosurgery resident Dr. Scott Y. Rahimi got the idea for the study after he noticed an increase in the number of golf-related head injuries in children.

"Golf-related injuries constitute a common type of sports injury in the pediatric population. The increase in frequency of these injuries is largely attributed to the increase in the popularity of golf and greater use of golf carts by children," Rahimi and his co-authors said in a prepared statement.

They believe safety training programs, precautionary guidelines, proper storage of golf equipment and adult supervision of golf club and golf cart use can reduce golf-related head injuries among children.

More information

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has advice on how to prevent some common golf injuries.

SOURCE: Medical College of Georgia, news release, April 4, 2005
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