More winter sport hospitalizations recorded in BC: health authority


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s good news if your child plays hockey and not so great if he or she is a skier or snowboarder. More winter sport-related hospitalizations are being recorded in this province, according to the BC Trauma Registry.

Dr. Shelina Babul, a sports injury specialist at BC Children’s Hospital, says last year’s statistics are much higher compared to 2016.

“Snowboarding related hospitalizations have risen about 9.3 per cent over the previous year and skiing, in relation to that, rose 27 per cent.”

She explains why some numbers may be misleading. “[It’s] not necessarily that more concussions are occurring. People are recognizing the need to be seen by a medical professional, so we’re seeing more as the result of that.”

Babul adds hockey-related injuries are down thanks — in part — to the increased use of a program aimed at preventing concussions. “And as a result, when we look at hockey hospitalizations, we’ve seen a drop by 27 per cent. That’s the key is to be aware, to know what to do and to manage it accordingly.”

  • 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
  • 70 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
  • 50 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


She explains the Concussion Awareness Training course, which has been available since 2013, has helped reduce hockey-related injuries since BC Hockey made it mandatory.

“Eighty per cent of those on ice officials who took the online training said that they were better prepared to deal with the situation if it happened on the ice.”

Babul says the course, better known as CAT, was made mandatory in 2016.

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