Staying Safe on the Slopes: Top Tips to Prevent Injury

Skiing is a popular winter activity all around the world.  Whether professional or amateur, this winter sport is a great way to stay in shape and enjoy the beauty of the winter months.

Although fun, skiing carries some unique safety concerns and potential risks – both for you and your belongings. However, by following some simple safety tips, many of these issues can be easily avoided.

Take time to consider these important safety concerns and learn the best ways to keep yourself, your belongings, and fellow skiers safe on the slopes.

Common Ski Injuries

Skiing is a “full-body” sport and carries a broad range of potential injuries. While many are relatively mild, there are more serious possibilities to consider. Some of the most common ski injuries include:

This ligament injury is a frequent issue for many skiers, particularly beginners. When the ligament is torn or stretched, people experience sharp pain on the inner knee as well as bruising, swelling, and stiffness. Surgery and physical therapy are common treatment options. Severe ligament tears may require surgery, but milder cases may be treated with less invasive methods.

Head injuries are serious medical concerns that should never be ignored. Although not every blow to the head results in a concussion, it’s important to keep track of your symptoms and see a doctor promptly if they persist or worsen.  Collisions with trees, rocks, or other skiers are common skiing risks, particular with cross-country skiing.  Symptoms include loss of consciousness, poor memory, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, severe headaches, and sensitivity to light. These symptoms may last for days or even weeks after the accident.

Skiing is an incredibly physical sport.  Broken bones are relatively common, especially in the arms, legs, fingers, and collarbone. Skiers who suffer hard falls or high-impact collisions into trees or other skiers are susceptible to this injury. Fractures range from moderate “greenstick” to severe “compound fractures.” Severe pain, swelling, loss of movement, and obvious signs of deformation are common facture symptoms.

Preventing Injuries and Staying Safe

As you prepare to hit the slopes, always take the proper precautions to keep yourself and others safe.  Even simple preparation tips can spare you from painful, serious injuries later.

  • Invest in the Right Equipment

Everyone loves saving money, but never take budget short-cuts when it comes to protective equipment.  Safe skis, poles, helmets, goggles and other protective pads should always be purchased in good condition with no damage and minimal wear.

  • Proper Physical Preparation

Because skiing is so much fun, it can be tempting to start right away the moment you arrive at the slope. This is risky. Always take the time to stretch properly and warm your muscles before heading down the slope.  Skiing without stretching puts you at greater risk for muscle tears and painful strains.  By stretching properly, your body is much more flexible and prepared for the day ahead.

  • Learn and Practice

If you are new to skiing, take the time to learn from a skilled instructor or an experienced friend.  Never venture out on your own or skip the instructions. Although tedious, trying out your new skills on smaller, beginner slopes helps you gain valuable experience and practice.  Practice helps you gain your bearings and prepares you for the bigger, more intense experiences later. Skiing is only enjoyable when it’s done safely.

  • Bundle up and Stay Warm

Ski suppliers carry high-quality coats and gloves, and other gear.  Although this equipment is great for fashion and catching eyes, its number one purpose is keeping your body temperate properly balanced. It’s vital to stay warm and dry while you ski.  Using basic, winter gear not specifically designed for skiing leaves you at risk for hypothermia, frostbite, and other weather-related issues.  Always use official ski gear to stay warm and safe.

  • Know your surroundings

Although new trails and slopes are fun and exciting to explore, take time to learn about their conditions and potential hazards.  If possible attempt new trails with someone who’s already experienced them.

Also, avoid areas with heavy skiing traffic. Slopes with too many skiers on the same trails experience greater numbers of accidents and collisions.  By keeping your eyes open for hazards and other skiers, everyone is safer.

  •  Using Proper Body Mechanics

Most if not all ski injuries occur as a result of poor body mechanics and body alignment. Always keep your body well-balanced and distribute your weight evenly over your skis. Avoid odd, extreme positions. Using good skiing posture prevents unsafe muscle strain and reduces pressure on your joints and bones.

Guarding Your Belongings

Most if not all ski resorts provide a skiers’ lodge or other storage options such as lockers.  This service may be included with your use fee or it may be offered as a separate perk.  Even if it does cost a little extra, strongly consider making the investment.  Purses, wallets, cell phones, and other valuables are commonly reported as missing or stolen. Using a locker to safeguard your possessions is an easy, effective way to prevent unpleasant surprises.

If you don’t plan to use lodge lockers or if there aren’t any provided, consider leaving valuable items locked in your private accommodation while you are out skiing.

This winter season, enjoy heading out to the mountains and ski resorts.  This winter sport offers fun days full of happy, exciting memories. By practicing basic safety tips and knowing the risks, you can fully enjoy your skiing experience.

Before heading off on your next skiing adventure, don’t forget travel insurance.  Get a quote today or call one of our friendly team on 1300 819 888 to discuss your requirements.

 

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