More than 276,000 people were treated at hospitals, doctors’ offices, and emergency rooms for injuries related to winter sports in 2018, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- 88,000 injuries from snow skiing
- 61,000 injuries from snowboarding
- 50,000 injuries from ice skating
- 47,000 injuries from sledding, tobogganing, and tubing
Common injuries include sprains, strains, dislocations, and fractures. A majority of sport injuries can be prevented if participants are properly prepared to partake in the activity by staying alert and knowing when to stop when feeling tired or in pain.
Here are a few suggestions as to what one can do to prevent injuries during the winter months.
- Condition muscles before participating in winter activities.
- Warm up before playing or participating. Cold muscles, tendons, and ligaments are vulnerable to injury.
- Wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves and padding.
- Check that equipment is working properly prior to use.
- Take a lesson (or several) from a qualified instructor, especially in sports like skiing and snowboarding. Learning how to fall correctly and safely will prevent and can reduce the risk of injury.
- Pay attention to storm warnings and severe drops in temperature.
- Seek medical attention immediately if you, or anyone with you, is experiencing hypothermia or frostbite. Make sure everyone is aware of proper procedures for getting help, if injuries occur.
- Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water before, during, and after activities.
- Avoid participating in sports when you are in pain or have experienced previous injury in which has not been taken care of.
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