Precaution needed for outdoors winter activities

Ski and snowboard injuries leading cause of winter sport hospital admissions in B.C.

Winter sports are a great way to stay active, but come with an element of risk.

In British Columbia, skiing and snowboarding injuries are nearly five times more likely to land you in hospital than injuries from hockey.

In 2014/15, 455 people in B.C. were hospitalized with injuries caused by skiing or snowboarding, compared to 94 people who were hospitalized playing hockey

Of the 455 ski/snowboard-related hospitalizations, more than half (52 per cent) were for major injuries, such as extremity fractures, brain trauma, internal organ injury or spinal cord injuries.

With ski-related injuries, males are hospitalized twice as often as females. For snowboarding, males are four times as likely as females to end up with injuries requiring hospitalization. Of these, males aged 15 to 30 are the most likely to get injured while snowboarding.

These statistics come from B.C.’s provincial trauma registry. The BC Trauma Registry is responsible for the collection and management of clinical data on trauma patients to help ensure patients are getting the best possible care, no matter where they live in the province.

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While snowmobiling accounts for fewer hospitalizations than ice hockey, more people who go to hospital following a snowmobiling incident have major injuries.

Snowmobiling hospitalizations commonly involve males age 20 to 60.

Seventy per cent of people who go to hospital after a toboggan- or sledding-related injury have a major injury.

Those hospitalized for hockey injuries are most likely to be males age 10 to 19.

According to the BC Coroners Service, between 2007 and 2013, 136 people died in BC related to winter sport activities.

Fifty per cent of these deaths were ski and snowboard-related.

Head injuries were responsible for 26 per cent of the ski-related deaths and 20 per cent of snowboard-related deaths.

The other 50 per cent of deaths were linked to snowmobiling.

Learn more

Healthy Families BC – Get ready for ski and snowboard season

BC Injury Research & Prevention Unit – Concussion Awareness Training Tool

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