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Winter Sports Safety

Winter can be a time of great fun. Many families enjoy the weather by skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and sledding. However, these activities can lead to injuries.

Winter Sports Safety

Winter can be a time of great fun. Many families enjoy the weather by skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and sledding. However, these activities can lead to injuries. Following a few safety tips can help you and your family have a fun and safe winter.

COMMON SOURCES OF WINTER INJURY

  • Winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and sledding can be fun, but dangerous. Falls or crashes can cause cuts and bruises, broken bones, and brain injuries.
  • Sleds can reach speeds of 25 miles per hour.
  • Frozen bodies of water can have thin patches that can break when someone stands on them. This can lead to falling through the ice.

GETTING READY FOR OUTDOOR FUN

  • Dress warmly. Wear a winter coat, hat and gloves, and slip-resistant snow boots.
  • If skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, ice skating, or sledding, make sure to wear a helmet to prevent a brain injury.
  • There are special helmets made for skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. For ice skating or sledding, a multi-sport or bicycle helmet would be a good option if a ski helmet is not available.
  • Use knee and elbow pads when ice skating.
  • Goggles are important when skiing, snowboarding, or snowmobiling.
  • Snowboarders should wear gloves with wrist guards.

AGE RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Sledding: Children younger than 5 years should only sled with an adult.
  • Snowboarding: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that only children 7 years or older snowboard.
  • Snowmobiling: The AAP also says that only children 6 years or older should ride on snowmobiles. Children should be 16 years or older to operate a snowmobile.

WINTER SAFETY TIPS

  • Avoid sledding in areas with trees, fences, ponds, and light poles. Do not sled in or near the street.
  • Only one person should ride on a sled, unless an adult is riding with a young child.
  • Always sled sitting up and facing forward. Never sled head first.
  • Steerable sleds are safer than snow disks or inner tubes.
  • Never ride a sled being pulled by a car, ATV, snowmobile, or other motorized vehicle.
  • Ice skate in designated skating areas. Never skate on river ice or ice that has thawed and refrozen.

Content provided by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s