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Ski/Snowboard Injury Prevention Page 3

Snowboarders may also injure their knees but more frequently they have arm or hand fractures.  The most common injury is a fracture of the wrist.  Occasionally, boarders may also sustain a fracture of the ankle.  These injuries most often can be treated with casting.

At times severe injuries can occur.  Usually these injuries are associated with tree collisions, reckless skiing and man-made snow. The spectrum of head and neck injuries ranges from a mild concussion to a spine fracture with subsequent paralysis. A concussion may occur when a skier or boarder violently strikes his or her head against a solid object. Helmets, therefore, may reduce the chance of this relatively rare injury.

Fortunately, fatal injuries are quite rare. Typically, they occur when an experienced male skier or snowboarder loses control while skiing or boarding too fast and strikes a fixed object like a tree or pole. Death result usually results from massive head or chest trauma. In the skier population which is statistically older, heart attacks are also may play a role in cause of death.

There are many potential causes of skiing or snowboarding injuries.  Aggressive skiing or board such as taking on terrain beyond your ability or going too fast is the most common.  Bindings that are set too tight or fail to release is also an important cause.  Icy snow or poor visibility may contribute to the risk of injury.  Finally, poor skier or snowboarding condition may increase the risk for either a fall or heart attack.

For skiers we recommend keeping your balance at all times and ski in control.  For snowboarders, it is crucial to ride the mountain within your skill level and avoid big air type tricks.  Consider also wearing wrist guards to protect you from a fracture.  For both skiers and boarders, if you fall, donít try to get up until youíve stopped sliding, donít land on your hands, and donít attempt jumps unless you know how to land. 

 

Ski/Snowboard Injury Prevention Page 4