Did you know that according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 220,000 patients were treated in hospitals, doctors’ offices and emergency rooms for injuries related to winter sports in 2017!
- 69,000 injuries from snow skiing
- 54,000 injuries from snowboarding
- 52,000 injuries from ice skating
- 5,000 injuries from sledding and tobogganing
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons states that most injuries sustained during winter sports can easily be prevented by keeping in good physical condition, staying alert, and stopping when participants are tired or in pain. The most common injuries include: sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures; many of these happening at the end of the day when people are tired and overexert themselves.
To help prevent injury during your favorite winter activities, follow these AAOS safety tips:
- Never paritipcate alone in a winter sport.
- Keep in shape and condition muscles before participating in winter activities.
- Warm up thoroughly before playing or participating. Cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are vulnerable to injury.
- Wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves and padding.
- Check that equipment is working properly prior to use.
- 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 poviders 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.
- 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.