Aim: To undertake a retrospective review of tobogganing-related injuries in children requiring admission to the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.
Materials and methods: Twenty-two children with tobogganing-related injuries were admitted between December 1991 and December 1993. There were 13 boys and 9 girls (median age, 10 years; range, 3 to 17 years). Their charts were reviewed using a structured proforma.
Results: Nine patients (41%) sustained injuries by striking a tree, 8 struck other objects, and 5 fell from the toboggan. Only 1 was wearing protective headgear. The initial site of impact was the head in 13 patients (59%), the trunk in 5, and the extremities in 4. Major injuries were sustained in all body systems. Thirteen patients (59%) required surgical treatment and two patients died, one of cerebral edema and the other of acute renal failure and subsequent multiorgan failure.
Conclusion: Tobogganing-related injuries represent a small fraction of all injuries in children who require hospitalization. However, such injuries can be serious and can cause significant morbidity and mortality. Better public awareness of the risks of tobogganing is required and simple safety guidelines should be developed to reduce the risks of this popular winter pastime.