With ski season starting up, it’s important to think about safety when you’re out on the slopes. Start by bringing (and wearing) the right safety gear. Despite the use of helmets being linked to a 43% decrease in the rate of head, neck and face injuries, only 48% of US skiers and snowboarders routinely wear them.
Surprisingly, this isn’t even the most common reason for injuries while skiing and snowboarding. Most injuries occur when riders are fatigued, so it’s essential to stay hydrated and remember to take breaks to rest throughout the day. It’s also key to be aware of your ability level and make sure you have the proper and working equipment.
Bringing children onto the slopes can be nerve-wrecking for parents. To prevent injury, parents should encourage professional instruction and routine rest breaks with rehydration. Also be sure that the terrain is within your child’s ability levels and is using caution with speed. Some of the most common injuries children face are to their wrist, knee, ankle or shoulder. Ankle braces and taping can reduce the risk of ankle sprain up to 70%.
Instructors can also play a big role in keeping beginners safe, by educating kids on the importance of good warm-up and cool-down techniques, proper equipment and safe skiing and snowboarding techniques helps to prevent injury. It’s also important for instructors to determine the appropriate skill levels for individual skiers and snowboarders to be as safe as possible.
Always be aware of weather conditions while skiing or snowboarding. Too much slush or ice can cause difficulty in controlling your turns, creating a higher potential for injury. Overall, it’s always a good idea to follow the National Ski Areas Association Responsibility Code for Reducing Risk. Understand warning signs and safety regulations on the trail and know how to safely use equipment.