Avoiding Injury During Winter Sports01/05/14
SUNDAY, Jan. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Skiing, skating,
snowboarding and sledding are great ways to stay active during the
winter -- if you take proper safety precautions.
These sports require planning and caution to avoid potentially
serious injuries, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic
"Common winter sport injuries from skiing and snowboarding include sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures," Dr. A. Herbert Alexander, an orthopedic surgeon in Ketchum, Idaho, said in an academy news release.
More than 310,000 people were treated in hospitals, doctors'
offices and emergency rooms in 2012 for winter sports-related
injuries, according to the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Of these, more than 40,000 were caused by sledding, nearly 98,000
involved snowboarding, about 120,000 were skiing injuries and
53,000 involved ice skating.
"Often, these injuries occur at the end of the day, as people try to get in one more ski, sled or snowboard run, despite fatigue or discomfort," Alexander noted. "Fortunately, most winter sport injuries can be prevented if participants stay in good physical condition, gradually increase their level of difficulty, stay alert and stop when they are tired or feel pain. Don't forget to wear helmets while skiing, snowboarding, or sledding. Remember to stay well-hydrated and remember to use sunscreen."
Sledders could reduce their risk of injury by sledding in the
correct position and not veering out of a sledding path. Skiers and
snowboarders should also use the right equipment and follow the
rules of those sports.
The academy provided several more winter sports safety tips,
including the following:
- Don't go it alone.Whenever possible, stay with a partner.
Before venturing out, it's also important to make sure someone who
is not participating in the activity knows where you will be.
- Check the forecast.Be aware of all warnings about storms and
drastic drops in temperature. It's important to adjust for icy
conditions, deep snow powder, wet snow and severe weather
- Dress properly.It's a good idea to wear several loose,
water- and wind-resistant layers to stay dry and warm. Protective
gear should also be worn, including goggles, helmets, gloves and
padding. Be sure all equipment, such as ski and snowboard bindings,
is in good working condition.
- Warm up.Like any sport, it's important to take it slow and
warm up before engaging in vigorous winter activities. Muscles,
tendons and ligaments that are cold are more susceptible to
- Follow the rules.Winter sports have rules. It's important to
be aware of these rules and follow them. If possible, beginners
should take lessons from a qualified instructor, particularly for
skiing and snowboarding.
- Stay connected.Be sure to carry a cellphone in case of an
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
winter health and safety tips.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.