How to hit the slopes – safely!

The slopes have officially opened! Ski and board season is finally here, and Ohio is home to several outstanding ski resorts, including Snow Trails and Mad River Mountain. If you’ve been dreaming of fresh (or fabricated) powder, take some time to refresh yourself on these basic winter sports safety tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

  • Grab the right gear. Wear well-fitting helmets, goggles, gloves and padding. As temperatures drop, be sure to wear several layers of light and water- and wind-resistant clothing. 
  • As with any sport, take time to warm up your muscles. Spend 10 minutes stretching and doing some light cardio to prepare your body for activity. And stay hydrated! Often when we’re cold, we don’t think about replenishing fluids as often. 
  • Follow all safety guidelines. As everyone returns to the slopes, it’s important to follow all posted rules for your own safety and the safety of others. While you may be an experienced skier, others may be trying the sport for the first time. In either case, be observant and respectful of those around you. If you’re new to the sport, consider a lesson (or several) from a qualified instructor. Learn how to fall correctly to reduce injury. 
  • If you or someone you’re with begin to experience signs of hypothermia or frostbite, take shelter and seek medical attention right away. Common signs include: excessive shivering, exhaustion, slurred speech, confusion, numbness or skin that appears hard or pale.

If you do experience an injury, pay close attention to your body. If rest and ice doesn’t seem to be helping, it’s probably time to schedule an appointment with a trusted orthopedic physician.