The Canadian Institute of Health Information released a study that reported 5,600 Canadians injured a year by winter activities. Those most often hurt: teenagers. Boys to be exact.
The age ranges from 10 to 19, with most of those injuries occurring while playing hockey. Total hospital visits were around 600 for boys in that age range. Close to 700 injuries were suffered while snow skiing or snowboarding.
For the children under 10, most made trips to the hospitals because of injuries sustained snowboarding, skiing or tobogganing. Adults between the ages of 20 and 49 made the most trips to the hospital due to injuries sustained while snowboarding.
As you might imagine, falls on ice were the most common forms of injury. There were a total of 47 falls a day in 2011–a total of 7,138–which was the most of the winter activities. Roughly half of those falls were suffered by people over 60. And women suffered 56% of all winter falls.
What’s interesting is hockey does not suffer the most injuries. That distinction goes to skiing and snowboarding. Injuries sustained participating in these sports was twice as high. Snowboarder Sarah Burke died today after rupturing her vertebral artery during an accident she sustained in Salt Lake City on January 10. She was a British Columbian freestyle skier and Winter X Game gold medalist, figured to win a gold in the 2014 Winter Games.
The moral of the story is to be careful when you hit the slopes. It’s dangerous out there.
Dr. Rick Lehman is a distinguished orthopedic surgeon in St. Louis, Missouri and an articular cartilage reconstruction pioneer. He owns U. S. Sports Medicine in Kirkwood, MO, and LehmanHealth. Learn more about Dr. Rick.