Participating in sports and recreational activities is a great way to stay active and healthy. Sports and recreation-related injuries can be prevented by recognizing and understanding potential hazards of an activity and choosing actions to reduce the potential for injury.



  • In Alberta where body checking is* allowed, the predicted risk of injury in Pee Wee players is 20%, risk of concussion is 10%. In comparison, in Quebec, where body checking is not allowed, the predicted risk of injury in Pee Wee is only 6%, and risk of concussion is a mere 2.5%.
  • In Alberta, Pee Wee hockey players was* 3 times more likely to be injured, 4 times more likely to sustain a concussion, 3 times more likely to have a serious injury and 3 times more likely to have a severe concussion compared to their Quebec peers.
  • In Alberta, approximately $213,000 each year is spent in health care for 11-12 year old hockey players.
  • Players with a previous injury are at 200% greater risk for re-injury.
  • Lower weight players are 40% great risk and the top-level elite Pee Wee players are at 46% great risk.

*As of September 2013, body-checking is no longer allowed at the Pee Wee level (U13 age division) in Canadian Minor Hockey.


  • There are on average 1,712 skiing and 3,436 snowboarding fall-related emergency department visits each year.
  • Approximately 66% of the injuries are to males.
  • Youth between 10 and 14 years of age had the highest emergency department visit rates.
  • Head injuries were the leading cause of emergency department visits and hospital admissions.

Prevention Messages

To minimize the risk of sports- and recreation-related injuries:

  • Wear safety gear.
  • Warm up. This helps prepare your body for physical activity. Cool down. This helps the body recover.
  • Check your environment.
  • Get trained.
  • Play fair.
  • Get qualified coaching staff.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs during sport or recreation activities.
  • Take care of your injuries. Return to activity after your injury has fully healed.
  • Drink lots of fluids like water before, during and after your activity.

Position Statements

IPC Response to Consultation

The IPC recommends that Health Canada introduce legislation under the Hazardous Products Act that will establish a prohibition on the advertisement, sale and importation of ski and snowboarding helmets that do not meet the requirements of the CSA standard entitled Z.263.1 Recreational Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding Helmets. Consideration must be given to the timing of the implementation of the legislative action to allow for the marketplace to react and develop capacity to comply with the legislation. Health Canada should also continue to use its information and education programs to educate recreational skiers and snowboarders on the need to wear helmets. Health Canada should encourage authorities with the mandate to require helmet use to do so. In support of this, Health Canada should act to see that the appropriate research into the effectiveness of helmet laws at increasing usage rates and reducing head injuries is undertaken.

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Resources & Toolkits


Our Research

Get the Point Injury Reduction Program

In 2002, the former Capital Health Authority (CHA) (currently the Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services) began a fall prevention strategy for individuals less than 20 years of age, with a focus on reducing head and neck injuries in the Capital region.

In 2006, the Edmonton Minor Hockey Association (EMHA), the City of Edmonton, and the Injury Prevention Centre (then, ACICR) began to develop an injury prevention strategy for the EMHA jurisdiction. The Injury Prevention in Edmonton Minor Hockey initiative was developed in consultation with parents, coaches, league officials and administrators, and using a sport injury prevention process framework developed by the Government of Quebec.

Beginning the 2007/08 season, the EMHA approved the new injury prevention program, now called Get the Point (GTP). Key for EMHA’s decision to proceed, was research that tied a reduction of penalties in minutes (PIM) to a reduction in injuries. The aims of the GTP program were to 1) prevent head and neck injuries, 2) reward playing within the rules, and 3) promote sportsmanship based on respect of self, other players, officials, and the rules of the game.

Supportive Programs

Visit our other related injury issues for more information: