May 29, 2024

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Winter Sports Injuries and Prevention Guide

In 2010 alone, there were nearly 450,000 people treated for winter sports related injuries, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Close to 150,000 of those injuries resulted from snow skiing, approximately 148,000 from snow boarding, over 90,000 from sledding and 58,000 from ice skating related incidents.

Winter sports injuries commonly result in sprains, fractures and dislocations. Most of these injuries could have been prevented if the individual was in good shape, alert, or stopped the activity when they were fatigued or in pain. Prevention is the key to successfully going through the winter season without injury. There are a number of things a person can do to prevent a sports injury while participating in winter activities.

Below is a list of helpful prevention measures and precautions that can be taken to deflect injury and stay safe during the winter.

· Always participate in winter activities with a partner or group of people. Acting alone can result in injury and safety issues.

· Keep in good physical condition during the off-season so that you avoid pulling muscles, breaking bones or strain particular areas of your body. Staying in good physical shape can help prevent against injury.

· Know the rules and abide by them. Too many injuries occur because people ignored the rules on the slopes or other areas of activity.

· Wear the proper sporting equipment and gear, such as goggles, helmets, gloves and padding to prevent injury. A helmet may save your life.

· Warm up your muscles before participating in an activity. Cold muscles and ligaments are highly susceptible to injury, especially in extreme weather.

· Pay attention to the weather reports. This may seem obvious, but every year people get into trouble because they are caught in a winter storm that can result in getting lost or disoriented. This can lead to injury or worse.

· Stay hydrated, even when you don’t feel like it. You can become just as dehydrated, if not more, during the winter, as in the summer. Muscles are more susceptible to injury when you are dehydrated. It is important to drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty.

· When exhausted it may be time to stop. Too many injuries occur each year because people keep going when they are tired or fatigued. While it is fine to push yourself, overdoing may result in a torn muscle or fall. Falling can then result in injury.

Playing it safe following a few guidelines can help prevent against injury during winter sports activities. Why become one of the statistics when injury could be prevented.