Research bids to end bad breaks

Healthy Living  Bone Research .   Eaun Flint  and  Sue Lenthall, Senior Research Nurse.
Healthy Living Bone Research . Eaun Flint and Sue Lenthall, Senior Research Nurse.
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YOUNGSTERS are being called on to take part in a study to see if more can be done to prevent children from breaking their bones.

The Bone Study, being run by experts at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, is a genetic study to examine 500 children and understand more about child fractures.

The three-year project, which examines children who have had breaks and those who have not, now needs children who have broken bones to come forward.

When it ends clinicians will look to make recommendations on how to prevent breaks.

Research nurse Sue Lenthall is running the study with Dr Paul Arundel, consultant in metabolic bone research.

Sue said: “It’s a very exciting project which will help us to understand much more clearly what has an effect on children’s bones and why they are more or less likely to break them.

“We’re looking at DNA, fitness, diet and lifestyle among other factors to see how these elements may have an influence. It’s just a one off visit for the child and a parent and it can be great fun.”

So far, 347 children have already taken part but a further 150 are needed. The children are weighed and measured and have a simple painless swab taken from their mouths for a DNA sample.

The hospital sees more than 3,000 children a year with broken bones in A&E and Sue said it was important to understand why.

Mum Judi Flint said: “My son Ewan had fractured his wrist last year playing football - he’s a goalkeeper - and I thought as the study was about bones and he had already been to the hospital, it was a good thing for him to be involved in.”

Ewan, aged 11, said: “I had to answer some questions and had two scans, the first of my wrist and the second of my whole body.

“It was like being photocopied!

“I also had to pull a lever and squeeze it - I wasn’t very bendy!”

To find out if your child is eligible call 0114 2260748. Children must be aged between eight and 16 and will receive a £10 Meadowhall voucher for their time.