Marching band injuries strike a wrong note in emergency departments
Marching band is a physically demanding task and performance art that can lead to injury similar to organized athletic activities. New research shows that 70% of marching band-related injuries reported to emergency departments over a 9-year period occurred in high school-age females, with most injuries to the ankles and knees.
The abstract, "Marching Band Injuries In Children Presenting to Emergency Departments in the United States, 2012-2021: A Trebling Tale," will be presented during the 2023 AAP National Conference & Exhibition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
"Like their instruments, band members must be in tune with their bodies," said Capt. Jacob R. Coene, MD, MC, USAF, researcher. "Coaches and parents should be educated on the risk of soft tissue injury and mild traumatic brain injury to help keep their band members marching to the beat of the drum."
Researchers reviewed an estimated 20,335 marching band injuries reported to emergency departments between 2012-2021, according to data provided by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Eighty-five percent of marching band injuries occurred in those 14-18 years of age, and mild traumatic brain injury comprised 6% of all encounters. Half of the injuries occurred in the lower body, with ankles and knees most often at risk.
Recognizing the risks, the National Athletic Trainer Association issued recommendations to keep marching band members safe in 2017, according to researchers. States including Texas and Oklahoma have begun to require pre-participation physicals for marching band members. Unlike other organized athletics, such as American football, soccer and cheerleading, there is a lack of evidence describing injury trends in marching band, according to the abstract authors.
Of all marching band injuries, 98% were treated and released from the emergency department.
More information: Abstract Title: Marching Band Injuries In Children Presenting to Emergency Departments in the United States, 2012-2021: A Trebling Tale