Every year, hundreds of children and teens play on an organize ice hockey team. The Montreal Children’s Hospital Trauma Centre sees over  700 hockey related injuries per year. Common injuries sustained in hockey are broken bones , sprains and concussions.
Consider these important tips to play smart and safe hockey!
Equipment use and safe environment

Equipment use and safe environment

  • ll equipment should be Canadian Standards Association (CSA) certified to ensure safety standards.
  • Wear appropriate protective hockey gear correctly at practices and games. This includes: helmet with facemask, mouth guard, chin strap, neck guard, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, jock/jill strap, hockey pants, shin guards and ice hockey skates.Equipment must fit properly.
  • A properly fitted mouth guard protects your gums and teeth. 
  • Keep your equipment in good shape.
  • Sharpen your skates regularly and replace a cracked helmet or face guard.
  • Ice conditions should be checked regularly. It is important for arenas to maintain good ice conditions at all times.
  • Keep first aid equipment nearby at all times. 
Remember, equipment does not make you invincible.
Skills training

Skills training

  • Work to improve your fitness. Injuries often occur due to poor conditioning.
  • Warm-up and stretch before a practice or a game. Improved flexibility may help prevent injuries.
  • Cool down after a practice or a game.
  • Practice your skills and use proper techniques. This helps you be a quicker and better player.
  • Listen to your coach’s safety recommendations to avoid being injured and to avoid causing an injury to another player.
  • Learn how to avoid head contact with the boards and other players.
  • Keep your head up. Keep arms stretched out and up when hitting the boards.
  • Stay in control of your speed so that you are able to stop or change direction when needed.
  • Stay alert. Stay sharp. Stay focused.
For more details, visit Hockey Canada’s website, which is the National Governing Body of Canadian Amateur Hockey.


Everyone’s role is key in encouraging sportsmanship and ensuring that a fun and positive experience is had by all.


  • Demonstrate a positive attitude and work together as a team.
  • Know and respect the rules at all times.
  • Respect the sport, yourself, teammates, opponents and officials.
  • Never hit anyone from behind.

Coaches, officials and parents

  • Encourage and promote team work. Set a positive example.
  • There should be zero tolerance towards intentional violence.
  • Coaches should be certified and officials should be qualified to teach players about dangerous situations.
  • Rules must always be enforced.
Don't play injured

Don't play injured

  • Pay attention to early signs of injury.
  • Never play through an injury.
  • Seek medical attention immediately when an injury is suspected.
  • Respect the recommendations and activity restrictions prescribed to ensure a full recovery.
  • Return to hockey only once fully recovered. Your return to play should be gradual to ensure you are physically and mentally ready to play and to avoid re-injury. 
If your child or teen has sustained a concussion, go to the MCH Concussion page for more information.
Related article:

Related article:

Reviewed by Trauma specialists at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Last updated: July 2013, November 2015, February 2016


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