Ways to avoid ski and snowboard injuries

Posted By: The Ski Channel on November 23, 2009 6:45 am

We all know of the injuries that come with our love of winter sports. If you need a reminder, check out “Your Daily Snow Fail”. To put things in perspective, check out these numbers from Colorado’s Summit County Daily News:

— 139,332 injuries from skiing

— 164,002 injuries from snowboarding

— 133,551 injuries from ice skating

— 53,273 injuries from hockey

— 160,020 injuries from sledding, snow tubing, and tobogganing

— 34,562 injuries from snowmobiling

The SC Daily News got these numbers from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. To help insure that you’re not one of these hundreds of thousands of folks, follow these tips, from Kate Reaney. She’s a Physician Assistant with Vail-Summit Orthopaedics. She  used to be a competitive alpine ski racer in New Zealand. She received her PA and Masters degree from George Washington University and has been working with Dr. Peter Janes since 2001.

“Never participate alone in a winter sport.

Keep in shape and condition muscles before participating in winter activities.

Warm up thoroughly before playing. Cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are vulnerable to injury.

Wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves and padding.

Check that equipment is in good working order and used properly.

Wear several layers of light, loose and water- and wind-resistant clothing for warmth and protection. Layering allows you to accommodate your body’s constantly changing temperature. Wear proper footwear that provides warmth and dryness, as well as ample ankle support.

Know and abide by all rules of the sport in which you are participating.

Take a lesson (or several) from a qualified instructor, especially in sports like skiing and snowboarding. Learning how to fall correctly and safely can reduce the risk of injury.

Pay attention to warnings about upcoming storms and severe drops in temperature to ensure safety.

Seek shelter and medical attention immediately if you, or anyone with you, is experiencing hypothermia or frostbite. Make sure everyone is aware of proper procedures for getting help, if injuries occur.

Drink plenty of water before, during, and after activities.

Avoid participating in sports when you are in pain or exhausted.”