Is there a link between children's motor abilities and unintentional injuries?

Academic Article


  • Problem: The common view is that clumsy children experience unintentional injury more frequently. Empirical evidence supporting this position is mixed. Method: One hundred 6- and 8-year-olds completed a battery of nine tasks designed to assess motor ability. Mothers completed a lifetime injury history measure about their children and families completed a 2-week injury diary assessing frequency and severity of daily injuries. Results: Internal reliability for the motor ability battery was good. Correlations between motor ability measures and injury risk were nonsignificant and near zero. Discussion: Motor ability does not appear to be directly related to injury risk. Possible explanations include: (a) coordinated and clumsy children engage in hazardous activities with differing frequency; or (b) other individual difference factors may interact with motor ability to explain children's injury risk. Impact on industry: Children's motor abilities do not appear to be directly linked to rate of unintentional injury, but instead may influence risk for injury in conjunction with other factors. Results could have implications to the engineering of children's toys and playground equipment and to the design of appropriate supervision strategies for children engaging in potentially dangerous activities. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd and National Safety Council.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Schwebel DC; Binder SC; Sales JMD; Plumert JM
  • Start Page

  • 135
  • End Page

  • 141
  • Volume

  • 34
  • Issue

  • 2