Wednesday January 30, 2019
In 2013, more than 1.24 million children were seen in emergency departments for injuries related to 14 most common winter recreational activities. Below are statistics and safety tips for the top 5 activities.
Skiing and Snowboarding
As mentioned in an earlier blog this month, snowboarding and skiing are ranked among the highest for TBI related injuries.
Did you know? Approximately 600,000 injuries are reported annually for this recreational activity.
Snow Skiing and Snowboarding Safety Tips
- Never skied or snowboarded before or been awhile since your last adventure? Take lessons by a certified instructor.
- Refrain from skiing or snowboarding alone. Young children should be supervised by a responsible adult. Older children should be accompanied by a friend.
- Wear a helmet. Not all ski facilities require helmets. For the sake of your health, wear one anyway.
- Skiers should wear safety bindings that are adjusted at least every year. Snowboarders should wear gloves with built-in wrist guards. Eye protection or goggles should also be used. To learn about winter sport equipment click here
- Slopes should fit the ability and experience of the skier or snowboarder. When in doubt, enjoy a slope that is one level below your ability. You can always choose a more difficult slope the next round.
Did you know? Approximately 20,000 children arrive in the emergency room each year due to sledding injuries. In 2010 approximately 51% of the injuries occurred during a collision.
- Always wear a helmet appropriate for the activity. When choosing helmet, look for a sticker that says the helmet meets the safety standard set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). CPSC is a federal regulatory agency that creates safety standards for safety equipment.
- Any helmet should fit snugly but comfortably on your head and shouldn't tilt backward or forward.
- Keep sledders away from motor vehicles.
- When sledding, separate younger from older children.
- Sledding feet first or sitting up, instead of lying down head-first, may prevent head injuries.
- Consider having your child wear a helmet while sledding.
- Sleds should be structurally sound and free of sharp edges and splinters, and the steering mechanism should be well lubricated.
- Sled slopes should be free of obstructions like trees or fences, be covered in snow (not ice), not be too steep (slope of less than 30º), and end with a flat runoff.
- Avoid sledding in crowded areas.
- Allow children to skate on approved surfaces. Check for signs posted by local police or recreation departments, or call your local police department to find out which areas have been approved.
- Skate in the same direction as the crowd.
- Never skate alone.
- Consider having your child wear a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads, especially while learning to skate.
- AAP suggests children under age 16 should not operate snowmobiles and children under age 6 not be a passenger.
- A snowmobile should not be used to pull a sled, skier, or snowboarder.
- Wear goggles and a safety helmet approved for use on motorized vehicles like motorcycles.
- Travel at safe speeds. If you are a passenger, inform the driver if speeds become uncomfortable.
- Remain on marked trails and avoid away from roads and railroads.
- Check in on warmth. Before kids head outside, tell them to come inside if they get wet or if they’re cold. Then keep watching them and checking in. They may want to continue playing outside even if they are wet or cold.
- Use sunscreen. Children and adults can still get sunburned in the winter. Sun can reflect off the snow, so apply sunscreen to exposed areas.
- Keep them hydrated. In drier winter air kids lose more water through their breath. Offer plenty of water, and try giving them warm drinks and soup for extra appeal.