Knowing the data on injuries and hospitalizations can help prevent them

July/August 2017

Summertime brings warmer weather, longer days and the ability to finally take part in some of our favourite outdoor sports and activities. For a lot of Canadians, activity levels increase, as do the chances for injuries. Last year, almost 2 million Canadians visited the emergency department for injuries, according to new data on injury and trauma emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

National Injury Prevention Day

This new data, released on Parachute’s National Injury Prevention Day, helps identify the causes of injuries that hospitalize Canadians or that send them to the emergency department. The data tables provide provincial and territorial breakdowns, as well as breakdowns by age and sex. Knowing and understanding the data on these injuries is crucial to raising awareness of preventable injuries and can help Canadians live long lives to their fullest.

More than 255,000 injury hospitalizations

There were almost 2 million injury-related visits to Canadian emergency departments last year and more than 255,000 hospitalizations for injury. Unintentional falls accounted for more than half (146,000) of these hospitalizations, with slipping, tripping and stumbling being one of the leading causes. Of the 605,000 emergency visits due to falls, the most frequent place Canadians fell was at home; sport and athletic areas were the second most common place Canadians sustained these unintentional fall injuries.

Bicycle injuries lead the way in summertime injuries

Our favourite sports can sometimes be dangerous. Last year, there were more than 25,000 hospitalizations due to a sport and winter injury. For summertime activities, cycling was the top sport that led to injury, resulting in more than 4,000 hospitalizations. All-terrain vehicle accidents and playground accidents followed close behind, causing more than 3,000 and 2,100 injury hospitalizations, respectively. Other top sports for injuries last year included animal riding, soccer and skateboarding.

Brain injuries in Canada

Heads-up on sport related injuriesThese sport injuries often result in brain injuries. Our data looks at sport-related brain injury emergency department visits in Ontario and Alberta by age and sex. Over the past 5 years, the increase in emergency department visits for sport-related brain injuries was highest among the youngest age groups. The data shows that summer sport injuries from being hit by a ball, cycling and football/rugby combined resulted in more than 5,400 brain-related emergency department visits in 2015–2016.

What can you do to make sure you play safe?

You can’t prevent every bruise and scrape, especially in sports, but you can help ensure injuries happen less often and that they are less serious. Taking precautions such as wearing the appropriate safety gear and knowing the safety risks before you take part in an activity can go a long way toward preventing injuries.