Background Evidence indicates that snow-park (SP) injuries are more severe than injuries on regular slopes. This prompted two major ski areas in the province of Québec, Canada, to remove all man-made jumps from their SPs before season 2007–08.
Objective To determine if removing jumps from SPs reduced the prevalence of severe injuries for skiers and snowboarders.
Design Retrospective study using ski-patrol Injury Report Forms (IRF). The proportion of severe injuries before (seasons 2000–01 to 2006–07) and after (seasons 2007–08 to 2009–10) SP jump removal was compared with proportions at other areas.
Setting All ski areas in operation in the province (between 77 and 84).
Participants Skiers and snowboarders who reported to the ski patrol with a SP injury at two ski areas before and after SP jumps were removed, and for all the ski areas with no SP jump removal.
Risk factor assessment Risk factor data and injury outcomes were collected through IRFs.
Main outcome measurements Severe injuries were defined based on type of injury or ambulance evacuation. The proportion of severe injuries before and after SP jump removal was compared with proportions at other areas. Logistic regression analysis was used to adjust the pre- and post change comparison for age, sex, skill level, helmet use, and type of activity.
Results At the two hills that removed jumps, the proportion of severe injuries was 19.3% (600 severe SP injuries/3,109 all SP injuries) before and 14.5% (63/434) after the change, compared with 23.7% (2 679/11 324) and 22.1% (921/4 173) at other hills. The odds of severe injuries declined at the two areas that removed jumps (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.54–0.97) with no change at other ski areas (AOR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.83–1.08).
Conclusions Results suggest that removing man-made jumps from SPs prevents severe injuries.
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