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Monday, February 29, 2016

Winter Sports Safety Tips

With Spring Break not too far off, many Central Texans are finalizing their plans for ski trips to places out west or up north.

As exhilarating as skiing is swooshing down the mountain with the icy wind at your back, it is also one of the most dangerous winter sports there is.

In 2014, the U.S. Consumer Produce Safety Commision reported that nearly 115,000 injuries treated in hospitals, doctor's offices, and emergency rooms were skiing-related. Another 125,000 injuries were attributed to other winter sports such as sledding and ice skating.

The AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) offers the following safety tips if you're hitting the slopes this season:
  • Always ski with a partner, and inform someone else off the slopes of your whereabouts and expected time of return. Also make sure to have a cell phone with you in the event of an emergency.
  • Check weather conditions frequently, and take warnings seriously with regard to blizzard-like or icy conditions, low visibility, and severely cold temperatures.
  • Dress warmly but comfortably in several layers of light, loos, and water-and wind-resistant clothing. Also ensure that your equipment fits properly and is in good working order...helmets, goggles, boots, and bindings. And don't forget to slather on the sunscreen.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water while out on the trails. The high altitudes and intense physical exertion can lead to dehydration pretty quickly if you are not careful.
  • Remember to stretch a bit and warm up, just as you would with any other sport, before your first ski run of the day.
Collisions with fellow skiers are one of the biggest causes of ski injuries, so make sure to watch out for others in your path and be prepared to stop at any time. This holds true for sledding and ice skating as well.

(Courtesy of AAOS)

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