Water tubing injuries on the rise: study

February 5, 2013

Columbus, OH – The annual number of water tubing-related injuries increased 250 percent from 1991 to 2009, finds a new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, researchers found that 7,216 water tubing-related injuries were reported in 2009, compared with 2,068 in 1991. Most injuries involved the head (27.5 percent) and upper extremities (24 percent), and the main causes were impact with water (49 percent) and contact with another rider (16 percent), according to a hospital press release.

Children and teens were more likely to suffer head injuries and make contact with another person, which researchers suggested may be due to trying to fit more than one person on a tube. Conversely, adults were more likely to experience knee injuries or sprains and strains from contact with water, the study abstract states.

To reduce injuries, researchers recommended following the manufacturer’s recommendations for number of riders per tube, riding and operating the tube responsibly, and wearing a personal flotation device.

The study was published in the February issue of the Journal of Physical Activity & Health.