Participating in winter sports can be an exhilarating experience, however, those who do not take extra precautions to learn how to stay safe when doing so are at risk of turning a fun experience into a potentially fatal one.
Fortunately, Parachute Canada has shared some top winter sport-related safety tips:
“Skates should give firm ankle support and fit snugly. For youngsters whose feet are growing, softer boots are better than hard, unyielding ones.
All skaters should wear CSA-approved helmets when skating because they are tested for falls on ice. Replace helmets every five years.
Check that skate blades aren’t dull or rusted.
Teach children to skate only in places you know are safe. Check that the ice surface is in good shape without bumps, water or slush. Check for skating hazards such as pebbles, rocks and branches.
Teach children to skate with friends – never alone – and always in safe areas, away from traffic and free of obstacles.
Hockey players should wear a CSA-approved hockey helmet with a compatible full-face mask. This is mandatory in organized hockey.
Helmets should be replaced every five years. They are designed to withstand falls on ice and the multiple impacts expected during hockey play, but they have this recommended limit.
Other recommended protective gear includes gloves, shoulder pads, elbow pads, shin pads, mouth guards and for boys, an athletic support.
Ensure all protective equipment is in good condition and fits properly.
Inspect helmets regularly. Do not use a helmet with a cracked or severely scratched shell or worn liner.
Never alter a helmet. It may affect its ability to prevent injury.
Stretching and warm-ups prior to each practice and game, as well as a cool-down routine, can help to prevent injuries.
Teach children to skate heads-up when approaching the boards to prevent neck injuries.
Take head injuries seriously. To prevent brain damage, organized amateur hockey in Canada requires that any player get a physician’s permission to return to play after suffering a concussion.
Beginners should take lessons from a certified instructor.
A ski helmet is recommended for children to prevent head injury. (Helmets are also recommended for racers and high-risk environments such as back-country skiing). In 2014 the CSA released a new standard for a multi-impact ski and snowboard helmet.
Skiers should follow the buddy system. Never ski alone.
Always check your child’s ski equipment to make sure it is in good condition and fits properly. Bindings should be checked at least once a year by a qualified technician or ski shop. Bindings, boots and skis which do not fit properly or are not properly adjusted are significant risk factors for young skiers.
Do warm-up exercises and stretches before each day’s skiing.
Skiers need to stay on marked trails and follow other rules of the slopes.
Skiers should choose runs or trails that best suit their ability. Before they start out, skiers should understand the signs used to indicate the level of difficulty.
Skiers should stay alert to hazards (such as rocks, trees, and ice patches) and changes in weather and visibility.
Skiers should dress against frostbite, be sure boots are not too tight, and wear sunglasses or goggles with UV protection to guard against the sun’s reflection off the snow. They should also wear sunscreen to protect against sunburns.
Skiers should quit before they get tired and before it gets dark. Fatigue and poor visibility both lead to injuries.
Snowboarding requires its own set of skills. Beginners should take lessons from a certified snowboard instructor. In 2014 the CSA released a new standard for a multi-impact ski and snowboard helmet.
Snowboarders should follow all the safety tips for downhill skiers.
Helmets are widely recommended for snowboarding.
Snowboarders should dress against frostbite and wear sunglasses or goggles with UV protection to guard against the sun’s reflection off the snow. They should also wear sunscreen to protect against sunburns.
Snowboarders should only use boards with full-length steel edges and stiff secure bindings. The board leash should be securely attached. Children should use short boards (no more than chest high).
Snowboarders should quit before they get tired or it gets too dark. Fatigue and poor visibility can both lead to injuries.
Snowboarders should be aware that high speeds and aerial maneuvers carry a high risk of injury.
Snowboarders should keep inside designated areas and follow other rules of the slopes.”
By adhering to these tried and tested safety rules, you can ensure you will have a wonderful time participating in winter sports this year.
If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call Dye & Russell Personal Injury Lawyers at 1-877-883-6171. We will offer you a free claim assessment.