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Dodge Winter Sports Injuries

Experts say a little preparation and a lot of caution go a long way

SUNDAY, Dec. 26, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Skiing and snowboarding are fast, exciting and exhilarating, but this doesn't mean they have to be dangerous.

Take a few tips from the pros on how to stay safe during the winter snow season:

  • Get into shape before you hit the slopes. You'll have more fun and less risk of injury.
  • Make sure you have good equipment that suits your height and skill level. Boots and bindings should be snug and comfortable, says the National Safety Council. Bindings should be checked regularly by a professional.
  • Take a lesson before hitting the slopes, advises the National Ski Patrol.
  • Dress warmly and in layers, making sure you have a headband or hat as well as gloves or mittens. Wear brightly colored clothing that can be seen at a distance and choose outerwear made of fabric that will reduce sliding after a fall and which is water-resistant, the National Safety Council advises.
  • Don't drink and ski; don't drink and snowboard.
  • Wear sun block. The sun's burning rays reflect off the snow and can give you a mighty burn.
  • When skiing or snowboarding downhill, give moving skiers and snowboards below the right of way, says the National Safety Council. You can see them better than they can see you.
  • Look both ways and uphill before crossing a trail, merging or starting down the hill.

More information

Read more about skiing and snowboarding safety from the National Ski Areas Association.

SOURCES: National Safety Council; National Ski Patrol
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