Tuesday, December 2, 2014

TOCA Tip Tuesday: Winter Sports Injury Prevention

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2010 more than 440,000 Americans were treated for winter sports-related injuries. That’s a whole lot of snow skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding, and tobogganing injuries! Most of them involve dislocations, fractures, sprains, and strains.

144,000 injuries from snow skiing
148,000 injuries from snow boarding
58,500 injuries from ice skating
91,000 injuries from sledding and tobogganing

A majority of these injuries can easily be prevented if participants prepare for their sport by keeping in good physical condition, staying alert, and stopping when they are tired or in pain.

There are many things you can do to help prevent injury during favorite winter activities.

- Warm up thoroughly before playing or participating. Cold muscles, tendons, and ligaments are vulnerable to injury.

- Wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves and padding.

- Check that equipment is working properly prior to use.

- Wear several layers of light, loose and water- and wind-resistant clothing for warmth and protection. Layering allows you to accommodate your body's constantly changing temperature. Wear proper footwear that provides warmth and dryness, as well as ample ankle support.

- Know and abide by all rules of the sport in which you are participating.

- Take a lesson (or several) from a qualified instructor, especially in sports like skiing and snow boarding. Learning how to fall correctly and safely can reduce the risk of injury.

- Pay attention to warnings about upcoming storms and severe    drops in temperature to ensure safety.

- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after activities.

- Avoid participating in sports when you are in pain or exhausted.



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