Print, Share, or View Spanish version of this article
As winter sports are gaining in popularity,
young children are hitting the slopes to learn skiing and snowboarding. However,
not every young child may be prepared for the experience. Your child's
age, strength, and ability to cooperate are a few factors to consider. Qualified
instructors can often help parents determine if their child is ready for these
sports. Most resorts begin ski school at 4 years old. Although snowboards are
made for children as young as 4 years, some resorts will not teach snowboarding
to children younger than 7 years.
With the growing popularity of skiing and
snowboarding comes a greater number of injuries. However, the risk of injury can
The following is information from the American
Academy of Pediatrics about how to prevent skiing and snowboarding injuries.
Also included is a list of common injuries.
Fitness. All athletes need
to develop and maintain a good general fitness level. Being physically
fit will make these sports more enjoyable and help avoid injury from
fatigue. Specific exercises to build muscle, strength, and endurance
will also help.
Technique. The key to
successful skiing and snowboarding is control. To exercise control, one
must learn proper skills, be aware of others on the slopes, and be able
to adjust to changing snow conditions. It's also important to
learn how to fall safely. Qualified instructors can help children learn
the proper skills to participate safely and avoid injury. Age-specific
classes can enhance the child's experience.
Skills. If a slope is too
difficult for skiers or snow- boarders, they should remove their
equipment and side-step down the slope.
Supervision. Children need
to have adult supervision, and teens or young adults need to have a
Equipment. Practicing with
the proper gear inside the home and in the backyard can make the
transition to the slopes easier. Safety gear should fit properly and be
snowboards. The binding setting should be properly
adjusted. Rental or sales professionals can help choose
equipment that is the proper size and fit.
Helmets. Use only
helmets that are specifically designed for skiing or
snowboarding. They should be professionally fitted to the
Eye protection is important to reduce glare from the reflection
off the snow. Goggles should fit with the helmet being used.
They should be made with polycarbonate or a similar material.
The material should conform to the standards of the American
Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
Wrist guards and knee
pads. Snowboarders may also benefit from wrist guards
and knee pads to prevent bruises and fractures.
clothing needs to be worn in layers with synthetic inner layers
for wicking moisture and a waterproof outer layer, or shell.
(sunscreen, lip balm with sunblock). Altitude and glare from
snow make sun damage more likely.
conditions can change rapidly. Bring extra clothing, and plan to quit
early if conditions become hazardous.
Fatigue and nutrition.
Skiing and snowboarding are hard work and require rest and adequate
nourishment. Fatigue and dehydration can lead to poor control and
Because skiing and snowboarding involve
rapid speeds, serious injuries can occur. Although rare, life-threatening
injuries are possible, sprains and broken bones are the most common types of
injuries from these downhill winter sports. The upper parts of the body are
more likely to get injured in snowboarding than in skiing because of how the
legs are attached to the snowboard.
Falling on an outstretched hand or shoulder
is common for a snowboarder. Acute, severe pain that limits the ability to
continue skiing or riding may be a sign of a broken bone. Treatment should
include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). If pain does not go
away, or there is deformity or problems with circulation to the arm, see a
doctor right away.
Accidents when using the lift or collisions
with other skiers or objects can result in a sprain or a broken leg.
Injuries can also happen if bindings do not release when a skier falls. This
is why it is important that bindings be adjusted properly so that they
release in case of a fall. Anyone with severe pain or who cannot stand
should call the ski patrol for help.
Twisting injuries to the knee can result
from skiing out of control or falling off the lift. Serious injuries, such
as a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament, usually require transport by
the ski patrol to a medical facility. More minor sprains, like the medial
collateral ligament, can be treated with RICE. Skiers or snowboarders with
severe swelling, persistent pain, and difficulty walking and moving the knee
should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Collisions at high speeds can cause serious
head injuries. While helmets are helpful at preventing head injuries, they
need to be the right size and properly fitted to be protective.
A concussion is any injury to the brain that
disrupts normal brain function on a temporary or permanent basis. The signs
and symptoms of a concussion range from subtle to obvious and usually happen
right after the injury but may take hours to days to show up. Athletes who
have had concussions may report feeling normal before their brain has fully
recovered. With most concussions, the athlete is not knocked out or
Prematurely returning to play after a
concussion can lead to another concussion or even death. An athlete with a
history of concussion is more susceptible to another injury than an athlete
with no history of concussion. Once a concussion has occurred, it is
important to make sure the helmet is fitted properly.
All concussions are serious, and all
athletes with suspected concussions should not return to play until they see
The National Ski Areas Association endorses a
responsibility code for skiers and snowboarders. Athletes should know the code
or "rules of the slope" to help prevent accidents and injury. The
code is prominently displayed at ski resorts. The 7 safety rules of the code
Always stay in control and be able to
stop or avoid other people or objects.
People ahead of you have the right of
way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
You must not stop where you obstruct a
trail or are not visible from above.
Whenever starting downhill or merging
into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
Always use devices to help prevent
Observe all posted signs and warnings.
Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
Prior to using any lift, you must have
the knowledge and ability to load, ride, and unload safely.
Skiing and snowboarding injuries can be
prevented when athletes use the appropriate safety equipment and safety
guidelines are followed.
The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.
If you think that you are having a medical emergency,
call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!
And when in doubt, call your doctor NOW
or go to the closest emergency department.
By using this website, you accept the information provided herein "AS IS." Neither RemedyConnect nor the providers of the information contained herein will have any liability to you arising out of your use of the information contained herein or make any express or implied warranty regarding the accuracy, content, completeness, reliability, or efficacy of the information contained within this website.
RemedyConnect, Inc. has created this privacy statement in order to demonstrate our firm commitment to your privacy. The following discloses our information gathering and dissemination practices for this website: http://www.remedyconnect.com.
Acquisition of Information through PMD
We do not acquire any more information about website visitors than is required by law or is otherwise necessary to provide a high level of service efficiently and securely. Our site's registration form requires users to give us contact information (e.g., their name and e-mail address) and demographic information (e.g., children's birth months, but not birth dates). We use customer contact information from the registration form to (1) send the user pertinent medical and parenting information and (2) allow your local health provider lists of who is registering on that provider's site as a parent/guardian, staff member, doctor, or visitor. Users may opt-out of receiving future mailings; see the choice/opt-out section below.
We use your IP address to help diagnose problems with our server and to administer our Website. Your IP address is used to help identify you and to gather broad demographic information.
Demographic and profile data is also collected at our site. We may use this data to tailor the visitor's experience at our site, showing them content that we think they might be interested in, and displaying the content according to their preferences.
Our site may use order forms to allow users to request information, products, and services.
Your Doctor's Right to Privacy
We will respect your doctor's right to privacy. A doctor typically does not give his/her e-mail address to the parents/guardians of patients. We will not provide the e-mail addresses of doctor(s) in the local practice to users of their site without the doctor(s)' permission. Their site is restricted to use by whomever they wish, and they may deny access to their site to one or more prior users. In unusual cases, doctors may change their private site's access code and arrange for us to e-mail the new access code to approved users.
This site contains links to other sites. RemedyConnect.com is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such Websites. See Disclaimers.
Disclosure to Third Parties
We will provide individually-identifiable information about website users to third parties only if we are compelled to do so by order of a duly-empowered governmental authority, we have the express permission of the visitor, or it is necessary to process transactions and provide you services from our affiliates: Live Agent Answering Service, Digital Answering Service, Medical Answering Service and Pediatric Answering Service.
Privacy and Our Business Partners
This site may make chat rooms, forums, message boards, and/or news groups available to its users. Please remember that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information.
This site has security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. For further information regarding our security, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any concerns regarding the security of information, please do not provide any information to RemedyConnect, Inc. until you are comfortable with our security measures.
You may correct or update your User Registration information at any time, by visiting the User Registration section and providing your personal password that you set at registration. If need be, please email us at email@example.com.
Our site provides users the opportunity to opt-out of receiving e-mail communications from our partners or us, except communications approved by your doctor's practice office. To so opt-out, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To be removed as a user, please email us at the same address. If need be, you may mail requests to us at RemedyConnect, Inc., 9200 E. Mineral Avenue, Suite 100, Centennial, CO 80112. Our telephone number is 303-793-0703.
Contacting the Website
If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this Website, you can contact us by email at email@example.com or by mail at our address above.