ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
CANCER
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
CAREGIVING
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
Mediterranean Diet Helps Protect Aging Brain
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics
Global Warming May Bring More Respiratory Woes
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
EYE CARE, VISION
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
FITNESS
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Swine Flu May Have Infected More Than 100,000 Americans
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
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School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent

MONDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Just as many schools are ramping up physical education programs to battle the childhood obesity epidemic, the number of kids being injured during gym class has risen dramatically, Ohio State University researchers report.

In fact, between 1997 and 2007, the annual number of injuries related to physical education (PE) increased 150 percent -- from 24,000 in 1997 to about 62,000 in 2007, the scientists said.

"We don't have an answer as to why injuries are increasing," said lead researcher Lara McKenzie, principal investigator at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.

"I don't think it's because more people are participating in PE," she said. "From all accounts, participation is down over the last couple of decades, and [there's been] only a slight increase in the past couple of years."

The report is published online Aug. 3 in Pediatrics.

For the study, McKenzie's team used data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to gather information on PE-related injuries. During the 11 years of the study, 405,305 children and adolescents were treated in emergency departments for injuries stemming from their PE classes, the researchers found.

"Most of the patients, about 98 percent of the cases, were seen and released," McKenzie said. "Of those who were hospitalized, about 75 percent were boys."

Almost 70 percent of the injuries happened during running, basketball, football, volleyball, soccer or gymnastics, she said.

Injuries differed for boys and girls, she noted. Boys were more likely to be injured on the head, during collisions with other people and during group activities. Girls were more apt to suffer strains and sprains to the legs and to be injured during individual activities.

Most injuries (52 percent) occurred among kids in middle school, McKenzie said.

Given the increasing recognition of the importance of physical activity, the authors suggested that more research is needed to develop injury-prevention strategies.

And McKenzie stressed that living an active lifestyle is important, especially for children. "Parents and school administrators have to be vigilant about these types of injuries because there are so many," she said.

Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise, said he thinks that gym class injuries are increasing because young children are being taught how to play sports rather than being given basic training in movement and body awareness in elementary school.

Before children start playing sports, he said, they need to develop movement skills.

"If kids aren't out moving and playing before they are 9 or 10, they are not going to develop a lot of the motor skills they need when they are older," McCall explained.

He said that movement training should start early. "As a kid is 2 or 3, get him into gymnastics or martial arts or dance," McCall said. "Between 4 and 8, don't worry about sports."

"Sports should be secondary to movement," he said. "Movement skills should be first -- controlling balance, controlling center of gravity. And then, once kids understand that and have the body awareness, then they can progress into more advanced and more challenging sports."

McCall also suggests that children participate in several sports, not just one.

"Kids who grow up playing multi-sports are a lot more resistant to injury because they are used to different patterns of movement," he noted.

SOURCES: Lara McKenzie, Ph.D., principal investigator, Center for Injury Research and Policy, Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio; Pete McCall, M.S., exercise physiologist, American Council on Exercise, San Diego; Aug. 3, 2009, Pediatrics, online