Whether it inspires you to go ice skating at an indoor rink or take a road trip to the nearest ski resort, it’s important to remember some basic safety tips to prevent an injury.
Winter sports are an excellent way to help keep your body healthy but they require some planning and caution, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Last year, more than 310,000 people wound up in the hospital or a doctor’s office for a winter-related sports injury.
Consider these 2012 injury statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- More than 40,000 injuries were caused by sledding;
- 97,713 by snowboarding;
- 119,715 by snow skiing; and,
- more than 52,000 by ice skating.
“Common winter sport injuries from skiing and snowboarding include sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures,” said orthopaedic surgeon A. Herbert Alexander, spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “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. 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 sun screen.”
Other safety tips to consider include:
- Ski and snowboard with a partner. Stay in sight of each other.
- Check the weather for snow and ice conditions before you head outdoors.
- Wear appropriate gear for the weather. Make sure goggles, helmets, gloves and padding are in good working order.
- Warm up thoroughly before playing and exercising. Cold muscles, tendons and ligaments can easily be injured.
- Take a lesson from a qualified instructor, especially in sports like skiing and snowboarding. Abide by all rules at a ski resort.
- Always carry a cell phone in case of an emergency.
Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons news release
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