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Obese Children More Likely to Incur Lower Extremity Injuries

But less likely to sustain head and face injuries as compared to non-obese children

MONDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Obese children may be more likely to suffer from lower extremity rather than upper extremity injuries and less likely to incur head and face injuries than their non-obese counterparts, according to research published online March 1 in Pediatrics.

Wendy J. Pomerantz, M.D., of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues evaluated electronic medical records of children aged 3 to 14 years who incurred a traumatic injury in the emergency room from Jan. 1, 2005, to March 31, 2008. Patients were considered obese if their weight was greater than the 95th percentile for their age.

The researchers found that both obese and non-obese children experienced the same percentage of upper extremity injuries. However, obese children were more likely to experience lower extremity than upper extremity injuries compared to non-obese children (odds ratios, 1.71). In addition, obese children experienced fewer head and face injuries than their non-obese counterparts (odds ratios, 0.54).

"Efforts should be made by health care providers to educate this patient population about both the risk of lower extremity injuries as well as the need for prompt assessment and treatment after an injury to help prevent the possible long-term consequences," the authors write.

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