Winter sports: Have fun, but stay safe
Wed, Jan 24, 2018
This time of year, the snow and ice beckon to winter sports enthusiasts. It’s also a time of year when skiers, snowboarders, skaters and others are likely to experience an injury if they don’t take precautions.
In 2015, more than 246,000 people were treated for winter sports injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Common injuries were sprains, strains and fractures.
Injuries can be prevented. Here’s how.
When sledding and snow tubing:
- Choose a hill away from obstacles. Make sure the hill doesn’t end near a street, parking lot, or a body of water.
- Don’t slide down headfirst.
- Choose a hill on packed snow, not ice.
- Don’t ride unless you are at least 12 years old and have completed an approved snowmobile safety course.
- Stay on the permitted trails.
- Wear a helmet designed for snowmobiling.
When ice skating:
- Skate only at rinks, lakes or ponds that say skating is safe.
- Sharpen your skates.
- Protect yourself with wrist guards and knee and elbow pads if you’re new to skating.
When playing hockey:
- Wear proper protective equipment when playing or practicing. These include a helmet with a full mask, chin strap and mouth guard; pads for the knees, shoulders, shins, elbows and hips; and padded hockey pants and gloves.
- Don’t use dangerous moves, such as checking from behind or high-sticking.
When skiing and snowboarding:
- Take lessons before going and stick to trails suited to your skills.
- Wear a helmet.
- Use caution when entering and exiting the chair lift.
- Test the bindings to make sure they’re properly fitted.
“Many injuries happen when people aren’t alert or overexert themselves,” says Dr. Jason George DeVries, a foot and ankle surgeon with Orthopedic & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic. “Most injuries can be prevented by staying physically active, staying alert and stopping or resting if you’re tired.”
It’s also recommended you dress in layers, stay hydrated, closely monitor the weather for storms or severe drops in temperature, and supervise children when outside, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
About BayCare Clinic
BayCare Clinic, www.baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With its 100-plus physicians, BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, serving clinical locations in 13 regional communities. Based in Green Bay, Wis., BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center.