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The Hood Magazine

Winter Sport Safety

Jan 22, 2015 ● By Hood Magazine

Photo courtesy of Ashley Thompson

By Kristopher Kimber, MD, Orthopedic Specialist, Geoffrey Haft, MD, 

 Pediatric Orthopedic Specialist


Just like clockwork, winter’s back again for another year. Some retreat inside to avoid the snow and cold temperatures. But others embrace the season, eager to enjoy winter’s activities.

These outdoor enthusiasts grab their gear and hit the slopes – ready for a day of skiing, snowboarding, tubing or sledding. But before you or your family takes that first run, make sure you understand how to protect yourself from injuries.

Common winter sports injuries include sprains, strains, tears, dislocations and fractures. But what may be the most prevalent, and often overlooked, is concussions.

Snowboarders typically experience upper-extremity injuries to their wrists or elbows. However skiers usually suffer injuries in their lower extremities such as the ankle, knee or leg.

Concussions are the most common injury during a sledding or tubing accident, but snowboarders and skiers are also at risk.  

The good news is a majority of these injuries can be prevented with proper protective gear, staying alert and stopping when fatigue or pain sets in.

Here are a few tips to help prevent injuries during your favorite winter activities:

  • Wear appropriate protective gear including a helmet, goggles, padding, guards and gloves.
  • Maintain good physical condition to keep your body in proper shape for strenuous activities.
  • Check to make sure your equipment is working properly.
  • Know and abide by the rules of the activity or sport in which you are participating.
  • If you are new to the activity, take a lesson. Learn how to fall correctly to help reduce injury.
  • Avoid participating if you are in pain or fatigued.

And if the unexpected happens, don’t worry. We provide you with fast access to our orthopedic experts, and no appointment is necessary.

Just walk in to one of our four Orthopedic Fast Track clinics, conveniently located throughout Sioux Falls, and see a specialist that day. And when your child’s injury can’t wait, we also provide an Orthopedic Pediatric Fast Track Clinic for same-day expert care.

The winter months are a great time to get outside and enjoy activities not possible in warmer temperatures. Just remember to stay safe and be prepared, so you can enjoy the fun all season long.