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Skiing Safety

February 10, 2012

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President’s Day is just around the corner, and maybe you’re planning a trip to tackle the slopes. Skiing is a favorite wintertime activity, but unfortunately, every year there is a long list of ski related accidents. Annually in the United States there are on average approximately 34 deaths from skiing. There are also about 39 very serious, non-fatal injuries like severe head trauma and paraplegia from skiing accidents.

These numbers speak for themselves. Before hitting the slopes keep yourself safe by taking the necessary precautions to ensuring a fun and safe skiing adventure!

Wear a Helmet

It may not be the most fashionable accessory but helmets SAVE lives. Everyone should wear one, no matter your ski level! Think of putting on a helmet like wearing a seatbelt, it will save your life in the event of an accident. They’re also quite warm, and the plastic resists wind, unlike a hat. The leading cause of skiing deaths is collision, so please please strap on a helmet!

Don’t Ski Solo

Especially if you are a beginner! New skiers are at the highest risk for injuries. If you get into an accident having someone by your side will help you get help and to safety. Even if you are a advanced skier having a pal with you is always a good idea, unexpected accidents happen on the slope when you least expect it, and it gets very cold out there.

Rest

Skiing for a long period of time can be dangerous. Take a break! Replenish with food and water, but be aware that most injuries occur after lunchtime when tiredness sets in. Pace yourself throughout the day, and if you are too tired do not risk trying to keep up. Sit a couple runs out and head back up the slope when you feel up to it. The lodge is a cozy place to rest, and there is always something fun going on there.

Avoid Persuasion

If you find yourself skiing with more advanced skiers do not be persuaded to follow in their lead down advanced slopes. I have been in this situation and it not pleasant. I began to panic as I realized I had little control, and my friends were ahead of me. I literally slid down on my butt the whole way, which is tricky and unsafe considering there were skiers flying past me. Avoid this situation at all costs, but if by mistake you are on a run that is too hard, first, take a deep breath and take it very very slow, find a professional to guide you down. I’ve been known to pop off my skis and walk down the sides when the course gets too difficult or icy. If there is still no way of getting down, do not panic, stay where you are and call for help!

Do Not Drink and Ski

Drinking and skiing do not mix! Stay sober on the slopes. Drinking reduces reaction time, and control over your body. Not only are you a danger to yourself, but you are putting everyone else in danger. Also, it is illegal. If you are caught you will be arrested!

In order to fully enjoy yourself and ski down the slope with ease, make sure you are covered with health insurance.

There is a lot to love about skiing, take in the the fresh air, the rush and the beautiful scenery, just remember to be safe!

Happy Skiing!

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