Profiling young children's participation in track and field, injuries sustained and prevention methods employed

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This study explored the nature and extent of track and field injuries sustained by children aged 8 and 9 years and the injury prevention methods they used. The sample comprised 170 registered Little Athletes competing at the 1997 Little Athletic Association New South Wales State Competition. Results suggested that about one in every three young athletes had one or more injuries resulting from their participation in training and competition during the season. Most of the injuries occurred to lower limbs, especially to ankles and knee areas. About one in four children considered that injuries sustained were serious. Most of the serious injuries occurred during track and field events. There were no significant differences between children aged 8 and 9 on injury rates, nor were there any gender differences identified. Results indicated that Little Athletes in these two age groups were knowledgeable about injury prevention methods (e.g. stretching and warm-up before exercise were the most often identified.) Of concern was the infrequent reporting of warm-down and drinking plenty of fluids as injury prevention techniques. Parents and coaches were seen as the primary educators in injury prevention methods. However, school teachers were not identified as having a significant role in the prevention of track and field injuries. Implications of the findings for the prevention of sporting injuries of young children are discussed. Copyright © 1999 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-105
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


Track and Field
Wounds and Injuries
Warm-Up Exercise
New South Wales


Coulon, L., & Mok, M. (1999). Profiling young children's participation in track and field, injuries sustained and prevention methods employed. Early Child Development and Care, 159(1), 93-105.


  • Injury
  • Injury prevention
  • Young athletes
  • Track and field