Body Health Blog
Ski and snowboard season is fast approaching and you know that injury prevention is key to enjoying a long ski season. “Prevention” is one of those words that rolls off the tongue and is easily overlooked. There are many injuries associated with these winter sports and it is important to take precautions to avoid serious injuries.
- The US Consumer Product Safety Commission projected that 44% of head injuries could be prevented by the use of helmets in skiing and snowboarding, and that the use of helmets for children aged 15 and under could reduce head injuries in this group by 53%.
- Furthermore, helmets will be mandatory for children and teens enrolled in ski and snowboard programs and for any student, regardless of age, participating in freestyle terrain park programs (Stueck, 2009).
- In a large ski area, such as Whistler/Blackcomb there are about 2000 injured individuals every season with beginners being at a higher risk for injury (Hansom & Alasdair, 2010).
- Improvements in muscular strength are beneficial for injury prevention. The stronger muscles and tendons help hold the body in proper alignment and protect the bones and joints when moving or under impact.
Appropriate Safety Measures include:
- Use of wrist guards for beginner snowboarders.
- Regular use of eye protection and sunscreen by all snow riders.
- Wear a helmet.
- Regular maintenance of equipment.
- Prepare your body for the mountains by participating in a regular strength-training program 3–4 days a week.
- Do not ski or snowboard in restricted areas.
Hansom D. & Sutherland (2010) A. Injury Prevention Strategies in Skiers and Snowboarders, Current Sports Medicine Reports. 9(3):169–175.Stueck W. Intrawest pushes helmets for all skiers. Globe and Mail, 2009 (www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/intrawest-pushes-helmets-for-all– skiers/article1309321). Accessed 12 October 2009.US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Skiing helmets: an evaluation of the potential to reduce head injury. Washington, DC: US Consumer Product Safety Commission, 1999.
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