Introduction: To determine the incidence rate and changes over time for ice and snow sports injury in Victoria, Australia, from 2003 to 2012 and describe the most common types and causes of these injuries. Methods: Retrospective data from the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit describing hospital admissions and emergency department presentations were extracted for the 10-year period of 2003 to 2012 for all ice- and snow-related injury. Descriptive injury data and participation-adjusted trend analyses using log-linear regression modelling of data (statistical significance, P<0.05) from the Exercise, Recreation and Sport Survey 2003 to 2010 are presented. Results: Overall, there were 7387 ice- and snow-related injuries, with a significant increase in hospital-treated snowboard injuries and a (nonsignificant) decline in hospital-treated ski injuries over the 10 years. Skiing (39%) and snowboarding (37%) had the highest incidence of hospital-treated injury, with males aged 15 to 24 years injured most frequently in both sports. Falls were the most common cause of injury in both skiing (68%) and snowboarding (78%). Conclusions: Patterns of snow sports injury in Australia during 2003 to 2012 remain similar to findings of national studies conducted decades earlier. More importantly, however, Australian injury patterns are comparable to international statistics and thus may be generalizable internationally. Head injuries, although infrequent, are associated with great injury severity due to a high frequency of hospitalization. Furthermore, research into the use of personal protective equipment and other injury prevention measures among Australian participants, particularly by young, male snowboarders, is required. Given the similar injury patterns, injury prevention measures implemented internationally could reasonably translate to an Australian setting.
- sports medicine