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