An average of 900 BC children and teens are hospitalized each year due to sports-related injuries. A new website is working to change this by giving parents, kids, coaches and teachers easy access to injury prevention information for over 50 popular sports and recreational activities, including soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, ice hockey, kayaking, hiking and snowboarding.

Active & Safe Central was developed by the BC Injury Research & Prevention Unit (BCIRPU) at BC Children’s Hospital in partnership with injury prevention experts, sport injury specialists and sport organizations across Canada. It was launched today in honour of International Move for Health Day.

“No one wants to see a child sidelined from an activity they love by a preventable injury,” said Dr. Shelina Babul, an associate director and sports injury specialist with BCIRPU, a clinical associate professor at University of British Columbia, and the co-lead for the Active & Safe Central project.

“Sports and recreation-related injuries, such as overuse injuries, concussions, and ligament tears can prevent children and youth from staying active and healthy. Through Active & Safe Central, parents and those involved in sport and recreation can learn about the simple and effective ways they can prevent injury and keep kids moving," said Dr. Babul.

Informed by international injury prevention research, the activity-specific information on the site includes common injuries, risk factors and strategies for injury prevention. The information is tailored for participants, parents and the wide range of people who support sport and recreation including coaches, teachers, officials, administrators and health professionals.

Researchers selected the sports and recreational activities listed on Active & Safe Central based on several criteria: activities that promote healthy lifestyles, those that are likely to be offered or supported in schools and community organizations, and activities that have higher rates of injury.

Active & Safe Central is supported by BC’s Physical Activity Strategy, which is co-led through a partnership between the BC Government and the BC Alliance for Healthy Living. It was developed in collaboration with SportMedBC, BC Recreation and Parks Association, Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Canadian Injury Prevention Trainee Network, Parachute, and viaSportBC.

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