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Skiing & Snowboarding Head Injuries on the Rise: How to Stay Safe on the Slopes

Skiing & Snowboarding Head Injuries on the Rise: How to Stay Safe on the Slopes

When you head out to ski or snowboard this winter season, be sure to protect your most important body part – your brain!

When you head out to ski or snowboard this winter season, be sure to protect your most important body part – your brain!

In a recent study of skiers and snowboarders from 2004-2010, there was a rise in head injuries in the United States. This could be attributed to several different causes including an increase in the total number of people participating in these sports, a higher intensity and greater difficulty of the sports and greater awareness of head injury dangers. More and more people are reporting head impacts after seeing what can happen if it’s not checked out by a physician.

First, be sure to wear a helmet when you participate in winter sports. This goes for adults and children. Helmets are important and can prevent a lot of serious injuries.

If you experience a head impact — with or without a helmet — be sure to have it checked out right away. Don’t “shake it off” or wait until you return home. It can be too late by then!

Just because you wear a helmet, it does not make you unbreakable. You still need to participate safely and follow the rules of the resort where you’re skiing or snowboarding. Stay on the runs that are groomed for you to avoid trees, rocks and cliffs that you may not be able to see if you go off the marked paths. And don’t try to do tricks or jumps that are beyond your skill level.

Remember to be realistic about your abilities. We’re not all professional skiers or snowboarders and we shouldn’t try to do what we see on TV. Even as adults we experience peer pressure to try things beyond our skill level. Keep in mind the amount of training and time that the professionals put into making their runs and jumps look so easy.

Before you hit the slopes you may want to consider picking up a helmet. Several stores in The Woodlands area sell them and they can be purchased online. Some of the most reputable brands include:

  • Giro
  • Smith Gage
  • Pro Tec
  • POC
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • American Board of Neurological Surgery
  • American Medical Association
  • The Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland & Labrador
  • North American Skull Base Society
  • North American Spine Society