Injury Research and Policy Ice Hockey Research :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Ice Hockey Safety

Ice hockey is a popular winter sport in the United States. However, there are more than 20,000 ice hockey-related injuries seen in U.S. emergency departments each year. As with any sport, it’s important to wear safety equipment and follow all rules to prevent injuries.

Ice Hockey Injury Facts

  • The most common types of injuries are cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, sprains and strains.
  • Most concussions are the result of either a fall or from contact with the boards or another player.
  • Injuries to the face, wrist/hand/finger, shoulder/upper arm and lower leg/ankle/foot are the most common.
  • Almost 1 in 4 ice hockey injuries are to the face or mouth.
  • Most face and mouth injuries are from contact with the stick or the puck.

 

Ice Hockey Safety Tips

 

  • Always wear the appropriate safety gear- both in games and in practice.
  • It is recommended that players:
    • Use full face shields, mouth guards and neck guards during games and practice.
    • Wear helmets with face masks and shields whenever they are on the ice.
  • Make sure all equipment fits properly.
  • Safety equipment should be in good repair.
  • Before playing, learn the proper uses and limitations of the protective gear.
  • Know and follow all game-play rules.
  • Officials and coaches should always enforce the rules.
  • If body checking is permitted, learn and practice the proper way to give and receive checks.
  • Checking from behind is illegal and should never be allowed.
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