Hockey Injuries in Children Have Doubled

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 22 (UPI) — The rate of children’s ice hockey injuries doubled from 1990 to 2006, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at Ohio State University and The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus say nearly one in four injuries was to the mouth or elsewhere on the face.

“The only hockey players who should not be required to wear a face mask are National Hockey League players,” lead author Jeff Deits, a graduate student during the study, says in a statement. “The majority of these facial injuries are preventable if players used face masks and shields.”

The study, published in the Journal of Athletic Training, finds the rate of injuries among children between the ages of 9-14 increased 163 percent — from 2,935 hockey-related emergency room treated injuries in 1990 to 7,713 in 2006. Injuries among 15- to 18-year-olds grew 85 percent. Girls’ and women’s hockey injuries increased 347 percent from 1990 to 2006.

Diets and study co-author Sarah Fields notes injuries will likely increase as the sport’s popularity grows and as player ice times increase.

Deits, Fields and colleagues analyzed emergency department ice hockey injuries from 1990 through 2006 in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System which collects injury reports for a sample of 100 U.S. hospitals.

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