Winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, sledding and ice skating are all fun and provide hours of fun and excitement for kids and adults, but can also be very risky and injuries can occur in all of these sports. Children are especially vulnerable for serious injuries when participating in these sports. Parents must recognize the risks and do all they can to protect their children while allowing them to have the fun that winter sports provide.
Wearing a helmet can be one of the top safety items for winter sports, as with any other sport. A helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries in skiing accidents by up to 60 percent. That indicates that it is a smart step for the child to wear a helmet during their play time outside.
Other safety precautions with skiing and snowboarding are items that seem like common sense, but things that many people do not think about. If you are new to either sport, take a lesson or two before you hit the ground. Also, never ski or snowboard alone and avoid areas where there are trees and other obstacles to lessen your chance of accidents. Also, have all equipment checked once a year and adjust the equipment each time you use it.
Sledding is another winter sport where head injuries occur often and could be widely avoided with a helmet. Also, no one should ever sled where there are roads and motor vehicles or in overcrowded areas with trees, obstacles, or people. Be sure to sled sitting up and with your feet going down the hill first. Never allow a friend to sit backwards on the sled or to lay down on it, this is when injuries can occur most often. It is a good idea to use steer able sleds and not intertubes, snow disks, or other objects that people have found make good sleds.
Snowmobiles offer a whole new range of problems and injuries that can occur while playing in the snow. Never pull skiers or sledders with a snowmobile. Make sure to always operate the snowmobile with an experienced driver and at safe speeds. Never allow anyone who is intoxicated to operate a snowmobile and never operate one alone. Always wearing goggles is another way to prevent injuries while on a snowmobile.
Ice skating is another winter sport that can be dangerous that many people never think about as a danger. The biggest danger of this sport is the ice. Ice needs to be thick to be safe. Ice can be frozen on top and seem to be frozen thick, when the water is actually not frozen other than the top layers. Think of the times that people have fallen into the ice when out on local ponds and places where people think that the ice is thicker than what it actually is. Also, if skating with other people, never skate in the opposite direction of other people. Be sure to keep the blades of your skis sharp to avoid the risk of falling. Dull blades will always increase the risk of falling.
The speed of winter sports can increase the force that is behind an accident and can cause injuries similar to those injuries suffered in car crashes. Winter sports can be a lot of fun and offer hours of exercise, but as with any other sport, be aware of the risk of injury that can occur. Have fun but be safe!