SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1993

Alpine Skiing Injuries in Children


The skiing injuries in 59 children under age 15 were recorded in four Norwegian ski resorts during the winter of 1985/1986 and compared with a control population of 63 uninjured children of the same age group.

The most common injury sites were the lower leg (24%), knee (20%), and head (14%). Only 43% of the bindings for injured children under ten released during the accident, compared with 73% for injured children 10 to 14 years of age. In accordance with this, skiers under ten were more than twice as prone to lower extremity equipment related (LEER) injuries as children in the older age group. Fracture of the lower leg was the most serious of the LEER injuries, and accounted for 21% of the injuries in the youngest children and 10 percent in the age group 10 to 14 years. In contrast 18% of the older children suffered head injuries compared to only 5% in the younger children.

Beginners had an injury risk nine times the average, whereas intermediate skiers were underrepresented among the injured skiers. A skiing experience of three or more seasons reduced the injury risk while skiing. Nine percent of the injuries occurred during powder skiing, whereas 26% of the injured population and 46% of the uninjured population spent some time powder skiing the current day.

In conclusion, being a beginner is the highest injury risk factor in skiing.

Author Information

Ekeland, A
Surgical Clinic, Ullevaal Hospital, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Nordsletten, L
Institute for Surgical Research, Rikshospitalet, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Lystad, H
Hemsedal Health Center, Hemsedal, Norway
Holtmoen, Å
The Norwegian College of Physical Education and Sport, Oslo, Norway
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Developed by Committee: F27
Pages: 43–49
DOI: 10.1520/STP25558S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5237-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1494-4