With winter just around the corner, your kids will be itching to get outside and participate in cold weather activities. The problem is that with the colder weather comes the increased risk that your child may suffer an injury from a winter sport. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, sports such as snowboarding or sledding account for a substantial number of visits to hospital emergency rooms each year. The majority of injuries experienced included:
- Head trauma, including concussions
- Knee injuries
The good news is that most injuries from wintersports can be prevented.
Risk of Injury Increases during the Winter
The risk for injuries increases during the winter for a number of reasons. When it is cold, your muscles, ligaments and tendons tighten up and do not react as quickly as they normally do. This affects also affects the range of motion of the various parts of your body. Because of this, it is easier to suffer a sprain or fracture. Add in wet or icy surfaces and the risk of injury increases even more.
Protecting Your Child
You can prevent many types of winter sports injuries by using common sense. Before allowing your child to ski or snowboard, make sure they have received lessons and are capable of doing these types of activities. Never allow your child to go out on the slopes alone. Additionally, make sure that your child follows these steps:
- Wear a winter helmet made for skiing or snowboarding. Bike or skate helmets do not offer enough protection in the event your child falls or collides with a stationery object.
- Use equipment that is appropriate to their size and ability. Skis should be professionally fitted and snowboards should be appropriate to your child’s and ability.
- Wear appropriate boots for skiing or snowboarding. Make sure that bindings work properly and will release if your child falls to avoid knee, ankle or hip injuries.
- Wear wrist guards if they snowboard. Broken wrists are a common injury from falling while snowboarding
- Protect the eyes by wearing googles. This will prevent injuries from branches and being blinded by the sun.
By taking these precautions, you can help your child avoid injury when they participate in wintersports. Keep in mind, if your child is injured and requires orthopedic surgery, Iowa City ASC is already ready to assist you. If your child does need surgery, or if you have any questions, you contact our team!