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Preventing sports and leisure injuries

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 27 July 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:182
  1. Harry Campbell,
  2. David Stone
  1. Senior lecturer Department of Public Health Services, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9AG
  2. Director Paediatric Epidemiology and Community Health Unit, Department of Child Health, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G3 8SJ

    Britain can learn from Quebec

    Despite the British government's avowed commitment to accident prevention,1 2 there seems to have been little progress towards developing effective programmes for preventing injuries sustained during leisure activities. This policy inertia may simply reflect a more general public indifference to leisure injuries, which many people (mistakenly) regard as unavoidable. But the media can generate interest in such injuries if the circumstances are sufficiently dramatic or if well known personalities are involved. Few in Scotland, for example, were left unaware of the recent deaths of the boxer James Murray, the climber Alison Hargreaves, and the skier Kirsteen McGibbon. Highly publicised incidents like these have drawn public attention to the serious casualties that can occur during sport and leisure activity.

    How important are sports and leisure injuries as a public health problem? Few studies have been conducted,3 4 5 6 so assessing the scale of the …

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