[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 4-Oct-2010
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Contact: Susan Martin
ssmartin@aap.org
American Academy of Pediatrics

Interactive video games can cause a broad range of injuries

SAN FRANCISCO Interactive gaming devices can cause a broad range of injuries, from abrasions and sprains to shoulder, ankle and foot injuries, according to research presented Monday, Oct. 4, at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco.

While relatively new, interactive gaming devices, such as Nintendo Wii, are tremendously popular. They differ from traditional video games in that they require participants to physically mime the movements of a particular sport or activity while competing against a real or computer-generated competitor. With the increased physical movement and interaction, researchers sought to determine what types of injuries were sustained from these interactive gaming devices.

To do this, they reviewed National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data on video game-related injuries, sustained by people of all ages, between January 1, 2004 and January 1, 2009.

A total of 696 video game-related injuries were reported over the 5-year period. The mean age of those injured was 16.5 years with an age range of 1 month to 86 years. There were 604 injuries resulting from traditional games with 92 injuries from the newer interactive games. Of the interactive game injuries, 49 were sustained by males (53.3 percent) and 43 by females (46.7 percent).

When compared to the traditional video game group, participants in the interactive group were significantly more likely to injure their shoulder, ankle, and foot. Bystander injuries occurred in both the interactive and the traditional groups with significantly more bystander injuries in the interactive group.

"This study details the different injuries sustained while participating in interactive and traditional video games," said lead study author Patrick O'Toole, MD. "Younger children under the age of 10 should be supervised while video games are being played to prevent bystander injuries, which are more common with interactive games."

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.



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