This time of year, many Canadians will head outside to enjoy the final weeks of winter on the slopes, trails and rinks.
Skiing, skating, snowmobiling and tobogganing are some of our favourite winter activities. Unfortunately, they can sometimes lead to a trip to the emergency department (ED) and even to admission to the hospital.
Last year, skiing and snowboarding accidents resulted in approximately 1,700 hospitalizations across Canada, followed by snowmobiling (905-related hospitalizations) and hockey (720 related-hospitalizations.)
Canadians age 18 to 64 accounted for approximately 60% of sport and winter injury hospitalizations, with men generally more likely to be hospitalized than women.
Cause of sport and winter injury hospitalizations by sex and age, 2016–2017
|Cause of injury||Sex||Age 5–17||Age 18–64||Age 65–84||Age 85+||Total|
Be careful — it’s slippery out there!
Even if you’re not inclined to participate in winter sports, you could end up in the hospital just by venturing outdoors. Last year, falls on ice accounted for the vast majority of winter-related hospitalizations. According to our latest data, there were almost 9,000 reported hospitalizations for injuries sustained after falls on ice, with men and women affected almost equally.
CIHI’s own Lise Hogan experienced a fall after slipping on a walkway on a sunny and mild December day:
“Immediately after falling, I couldn’t put any weight on my foot, so I called an ambulance. After a long stay in the emergency department and X-rays, I learned that I had a broken spiral fracture of the fibula. Today, even after several physiotherapy appointments and despite the fact that I have always been active and fit, I am still experiencing pain and extreme swelling, which prevents mobility in my ankle, foot and toes. This experience has left me very cautious. No matter the weather outside, you can’t be too careful!”
Hospitalizations related to falls on ice, Canada, 2016–2017
|Cause of injury||Sex||Age 0–4||Age 5–17||Age 18–64||Age 65–84||Age 85+||Total|
|Falls on ice||Female||7||46||2,470||1,857||337||4,717|
Beyond winter, a look at some spring activities
Come April and May, playgrounds and bike paths will be busy once again.
CIHI data from 2016–2017 shows that cycling accidents remain a common concern across the country, with 4,268 hospitalizations last year, followed by playground accidents (2,184 hospitalizations).
Together, skateboard, scooter and rollerblades accounted for 1,129 hospitalizations.
|Cause of injury||N.L.||P.E.I.||N.S.||N.B.||Que.||Ont.||Man.||Sask.||Alta.||B.C.||Y.T.||N.W.T.||Nun.||Unknown||Total|
For more information on injury and trauma statistics, visit CIHI’s Quick Stats page.
Stay tuned for CIHI’s updated data on inpatient hospitalizations, surgeries, newborns, alternate level of care (ALC) and childbirth, to be released in spring 2019.