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Public Health Rep. 1996 Jan-Feb;111(1):82-6.

Use of mouthguards and headgear in organized sports by school-aged children.

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Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Branch, National Institute of Dental Research, Natcher Building, Room 3AN-44D, Bethedsa MD 20892-6401 USA.


Sports-related orofacial trauma is a serious problem that can be prevented by wearing protective mouthguards and headgear. While this equipment is available, few studies have been done of wearing practices. This study assesses the wearing practices using data from the Child Health Supplement of the 1991 National Health Interview Survey. Results indicate that football was the only sport in which the majority of children used mouthguards and headgear. While statistically significant differences (p<.05) were found in use of the equipment in all sports by grade level, gender, parent's education, ethnicity, and by region of the the country, these differences were not consistent across sports. Healthy People 2000 calls for extending requirements for use of orofacial protective devices to all organizations sponsoring sports that pose risk to injury. Given the complex nature of the findings, multifaceted initiatives that include the promulgation of rules must be developed and tested to determine what approaches are effective in ensuring consistent use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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