Tuesday, December 10, 2013

10 Tips for reducing the risks of ski and snowboarding injuries

Winter is here and skis and snowboards are being polished up for weekends spent on the hill. Both skiing and snowboarding are excellent winter activities for adults and youth to enjoy as a recreational pastime or competitively. Propelling yourself down a mountain at high speeds does have its share of risks, so we're sharing some tips for keeping yourself and your family safe on the hill this holiday season.
  1. Wear proper protective equipment such as helmets, goggles and wrist guards
  2. Ensure your equipment has the proper fit and know how to properly care for it - loose or poorly adjusted bindings increase the risk of foot, ankle and lower leg injuries
  3. If you are a beginner, get some lessons from a professional before tackling the hill
  4. Be aware of your surroundings, many serious injuries result from colliding with trees, poles or other skiers and snowboarders
  5. Be aware of the weather and slope conditions - the lowest risk of snowboard injury is on deep snow, such as powder, fresh snow or groomed slopes
  6. Ski and snowboard on hills that are at your ability and skill level 
  7. Stay on designated marked trails 
  8. Never go out on the hill alone
  9. Learn how to fall. Relax and if on skis, keep your knees together. Cruciate ligament knee injuries are one of the biggest problems in skiing. 
  10. Skiing and snowboarding are physically taxing to the body, be honest about your fitness levels and do some training before you hit the slopes. When you are out there, be sure to warm up and cool down at the beginning and end of your day.
There is a 35% reduction in head injury risk with helmet use while skiing or snowboarding - Think First Canada
Skiing and snowboarding are great winter sports which can offer fun and exercise for the whole family. With a little preparation, injuries can be avoided with some professional instruction, properly fitted protective equipment, and a little common sense.

References from the SIRC Collection:

1. Bladin C, McCrory P, Pogorzelski A. Snowboarding injuries: current trends and future directions. Sports Medicine. 2004;34(2):133-138. 
2. Fuselli P, Hagel B, Stanwick R. Vancouver Charter: bringing ski and snowboard helmet legislation to Canada. Injury Prevention. September 2, 2010;16:A88.
3. Kim S, Endres N, Johnson R, Ettlinger C, Shealy J. Snowboarding Injuries: Trends Over Time and Comparisons With Alpine Skiing Injuries. American Journal Of Sports Medicine. April 2012;40(4):770-776.
4. Kim S, Lee S. Snowboard Wrist Guards-Use, Efficacy, and Design. Bulletin Of The NYU Hospital For Joint Diseases. April 2011;69(2):149-157.
5. Langan M. Ski and snowboard injuries - reducing the risks. Sportex Health. December 2000;(7):33-35. 
6. Rebecca M H. Are there risk factors for snowboard injuries? A case-control multicentre study of 559 snowboarders. British Journal Of Sports Medicine. September 2010;44(11):816-821.
7. Sakamoto Y, Sakuraba K, Ohbayashi O, Kawakita K, Inoue T. Snowboard and skiboard injuries in recent years: a comparison with ski injuries. Japanese Journal Of Clinical Sports Medicine. April 2006;14(2):218-227.

1 comment:

Ann Shirley said...

Great tips! I agree it is important to wear proper equipment that fits correctly. I recently bought some new outdoor gear for my upcoming winter vacation. I'm hoping to try snowboarding. Since I never did it before I made sure to sign up for lessons with a private instructor.