Whether you like to sled, skate, snowboard or ski, there are many activities you can participate in during the winter. While these activities are fun and promote regular physical activity and have great health benefits, they can also lead to injury or even death. According to Education.com, each year children ages 0-14 account for more than 52,000 injuries involving skis, snowboards, snowmobiles and sleds. This winter, enjoy getting involved in winter sports, but stay safe with these simple tips:
Skiing & Snowboarding:
1. Forty-four percent of skiing/snowboarding head injuries could be prevented by wearing a helmet. Wear a proper fitting helmet and use a size chart to find one that fits the best.
2. Check equipment – helmets, skis, shoes, skates, goggles, snowboards – before you hit the slopes to ensure they fit comfortably and are not damaged. Safety bindings for skis should be adjusted at least once a year.
3. Wear protective gear in addition to your helmet. Snowboarders should wear gloves with built-in wrist guards.
4. Stay on trails that fit your ability, control your speed and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
5. Take lessons from a qualified instructor and never ski or snowboard alone.
1. Never sled near traffic, roads, parking lots or bodies of water.
2. Only sled during daylight hours.
3. Inspect sledding areas for potential hazards, such as trees, fences, rocks and telephone poles.
4. Do not sled headfirst or on the stomach. Instead, sled in a sitting position.
1. Avoid skating on ponds, streams, lakes or other bodies of water that are not properly marked for ice skaing.
2. Children should be accompanied by an adult on the ice at all times.
3. Skate in the same direction as the crowd.
4. Never ice skate alone.
For more safety tips or for information about brain injury, go to www.biama.org.