Snow Sports Injuries

There is little doubt that skiing is a dangerous sport. It can be less dangerous if all the rules are followed and you are as fit as you can be. Falling over, especially if you are new to the slopes is an occupational hazard. As we get older we are less used to losing control of our body’s or indeed to falling over. It can be frustrating and many novice skiers give up if they have been through a prolonged period face down in the snow!

Death through skiing is very rare, only one death is reported for every 1.5 million days skied. These usually occur due to avalanche or as a result of high speed impacts such as those with trees and pylons or other skiers. Snowboarders till sustain slightly more injuries than skiers. Avalanches are a hazard that need to be avoided at all times and keeping an ear out for the latest weather forecast is important.

Off piste skiers and snowboarders are most at risk of non avalanche related deaths as they can become the victim of hypothermia or asphyxiation when covered with snow after falling into an area beneath snow that topples on top of them.

Avoiding Injuries

Head injuries can be avoided by wearing a helmet and these are readily available.

Most injuries are related to the knee, head and hands. The knee will often become twisted either on impact or when trying to rise from a fall. Many a skier has had to have his or her shoulder pushed back into place by a mountain rescuer.

You can practice avoiding injury by insuring the following is second nature:

You can also avoid the risk of injury if you refrain from skiing when you are already tired.

Keep your eyes open and focus on your terrain look out for rocks and ice and changes in snow density.

Look out for other skiers/snowboarders — they may be beginners out of their depth!

Do not ski when you have had alcohol — one glass of wine/beer with lunch is not too much to worry about but with excess alcohol your reflexes will slow down.