Does the first freeze or snowfall make you eager to grab your gear and get outside? Following are some tips to help winter sports enthusiasts stay safe when heading out into the cold.
Bundle up. Dress in layers with a waterproof shell on the outside. Apply sunscreen frequently; snow can reflect up to 85% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Use equipment that fits. Don’t use hand-me-down skis, snowboards, boots or skates if they are too big. Equipment must be the right size to maintain control on snow and ice. If possible, have bindings adjusted by a professional.
Wear protective gear. Guard against head injuries with a properly fitting helmet – a skier vs. a tree can be extremely dangerous. Hockey players need a specific ice-hockey helmet and padding.
Rest when tired. Be extra careful at the end of the day, advises sports medicine specialist Carl Wierks, MD, of the Bone & Joint Center in Holland. “More injuries occur then because people are tired and the snow is likely to be icier.”
Be alert for signs of frostbite or hypothermia. If you or someone you know has the following symptoms, prevent further heat loss and seek medical attention.
Winter Injury? We can help get You moving again. If you've suffered an injury, consult your doctor. For information about physical therapy, see Rehabilitation Services.