News

Protect Yourself against Winter Sports Injuries

Frigid temperatures and icy surfaces drive many athletes indoors during the winter months, but for winter sports enthusiasts, the fun is just getting started! Each year, millions of people hit the slopes, the ice rink or even their own snow-covered back yards for a fun and invigorating workout.

Winter sports can provide unmatched thrills and challenges, but they can also be quite dangerous without proper safety precautions. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 290,000 people were treated for winter sports-related injuries in 2014. Some of the most common winter sports injuries include:

Skiing

  • ACL or MCL injury
  • Skier’s thumb
  • Ankle sprain
  • Shoulder sprain or dislocation
  • Fractures in the shoulder or lower leg

Hockey

  • Concussion
  • MCL sprain
  • Elbow injury
  • Broken collarbone

Ice Skating

  • Stress fractures
  • Tendonitis
  • Ankle sprain or fracture
  • ACL or MCL injury

Snowboarding

  • Wrist sprain or fracture
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Ankle sprain or fracture
  • ACL and MCL injury

The majority of winter sports-related injuries can be prevented by following safety and prevention recommendations. Take these steps to keep your outdoor activities as safe as possible:

Warm up – Cold muscles are tight and more prone to injury. Take at least 5 to 10 minutes to perform some light exercises and warm-up stretches before you head outside.

Wear protective gear – Always wear the recommended protective gear when participating in winter sports. Check your helmet and pads for any signs of wear and tear, and try them on to ensure a proper fit. Wear UV protective goggles or glasses to shield your eyes from sun glare. Apply sunscreen and lip balm liberally and regularly throughout your activity.

Dress in layers – Protect yourself against hypothermia and frostbite by dressing in warm, waterproof layers. Clothing should fit snugly but allow you to move freely.

Know when to quit – You’re more prone to experiencing an accident when your body is fatigued. Take regular rest breaks throughout your activity, and know when to call it a day. The more precautions you take to protect yourself against injuries, the better your chances of enjoying winter sports all season long!