Zipping down the powdery slopes is the ideal winter activity for many people. However, concussions, as well as general injuries, can occur if skiers do not take proper precaution. Understanding the safety concerns of the sport is equally as important as properly fitting equipment.
Explore how to hit the slopes safely with the following infographic.
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Concussion Safety for Skiers and Snowboarders
A skier’s behavior has as much or more to do with safety of the sport as does any piece of equipment.
To help stay safe, follow these tips:
- Keep your distance
Be aware of the other skiers of varying skill levels around you.
- Always wear a helmet
Even though a helmet can’t prevent a concussion, it can help minimize the risk and prevent more catastrophic brain injury, such as skull fracture.
- Ski at your level and ability
For safety, only progress in difficult level slowly
- Be aware of your surroundings
Did you know?
- For every 10,000 people on the slopes, three people will sustain a head injury requiring medical attention.
- 30-50% of head injuries can be reduced by helmets. Helmets may be the difference between a major and a minor injury.
- Alpine skiers are 3x more likely than a snowboarder to be involved in a collision.
- Always stay in control. Be able to stop or avoid other people or objects
- Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others
- Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas
- Don’t drink alcohol or use any drugs that might alter your balance, reaction time, or otherwise interfere with your ability to ride
- If you suspect you’ve suffered a concussion, don’t keep skiing – not even to the bottom of the mountain. Have ski patrol come to you
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About Sports Medicine
Sports and physical activity bring with them a potential for injury. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury – or improve athletic performance – UPMC Sports Medicine and the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program can help. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our experts partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers, and about 100 other high school, college, and regional teams and events throughout Pennsylvania – working daily to build better athletes.