Falls account for most zip-lining injuries, research shows

Columbus, OH – Zip-lining is booming in popularity across much of the country.

However, injuries related to the activity also are on the rise.

The injury risks associated with unsafe zip-lining have come into sharper focus, thanks to the work of researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Researchers analyzed almost 17,000 non-fatal zip-lining injuries from 1997 to 2012 for the study. They found that the majority of injuries occurred during the final four years of the 16-year study period. Falls accounted for 77 percent of zip-line-related injuries, while collisions (13 percent) were the second leading cause. Types of injuries included broken bones (46 percent), bruises (15.2 percent), strains/sprains (15.1 percent) and concussions/head injuries (7 percent).

Experts recommend wearing a harness, helmet and gloves while zip-lining. In addition, make sure zip-line facilities meet industry safety standards and include qualified staff.

“Due to the inherent risks associated with homemade zip lines, parents, caregivers and children should not install and use zip lines at home,” study author Tracy Mehan said in a press release.

The study is scheduled to be published in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.