Winter Sports Safety

Read about common winter sports injuries and safety tips to keep in mind as you head to the slopes, snow, or ice rink this winter.

Winter Sports Safety Tips

As winter approaches and families plan participation in winter sports such as snowboarding, skiing, sledding, and ice skating, it is important to be aware of proper safety and risk of injury.

Over 246,000 people were treated for injuries related to winter sports in 2015. Some of the most common winter sports injuries are fractures, sprains, dislocations, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries. Being well-prepared will allow you to spend more time enjoying the sport – and less time worrying about a potential injury. 

Here are several tips to keep in mind as you head to the slopes, snow, or ice rink this winter:

Bring protective gear. Make sure to have appropriate gear that is fully functional and that fits securely to your body. Also, check your equipment regularly to ensure it is in good condition; consider getting skis/snowboards, boots, and fittings checked by a ski or snowboarding shop. Wear a proper-fitting helmet to lower the risk of head injury or concussion in the event of a fall.

Stay warm. Wear layers of warm clothing such as thermal material, gloves, fleece jackets, face masks, and a hat. Dressing warm while involved in winter sports can prevent frostbite or hypothermia.

Be sun safe. Even in cold or overcast weather, your skin is still vulnerable to the sun’s harsh rays. Apply sunscreen to protect your skin and wear polarized sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes. 

Maintain nutrition and hydration. It is important to drink water and eat nutritious food before and during your activities because the cold temperature can drain your body’s energy faster than usual. If possible, carry a small bottle of water and energy bars with you as you participate in activities. 

Know your surroundings. It is important to be aware of the area that you’re located in and pay attention to where you’re going. Look out for rocks, trees, dips, and uneven surfaces that could potentially cause serious injury. Also, if possible, choose a less-crowded space in a designated safe area to reduce the risk of colliding with someone. Moreover, follow the rules of the area such as posted signs, flags, or markers indicating dangerous zones.  

View Dr. Ryan Buller’s profile to learn more.

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