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January 04, 2016

Safely enjoy winter sport thrills with tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Rosemont, Ill.—Along with cold temperatures and heavy snowfalls come the exhilaration of winter sports. As Americans head to the ice rinks and the ski and sledding hills, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) want you to safely enjoy the sports of the season. 

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 239,000 people were treated in hospitals, doctors’ offices and emergency rooms in 2014 for winter sports-related injuries. Specifically:
  • more than 114,009 injuries were caused by skiing;
  • 78,899 by snowboarding;  and,
  • 46,957 by ice skating.
“Winter sports are a way to stay active during the cold weather, but often times participants skip the pre-workout warmup,” said orthopaedic sports medicine specialist and AAOS spokesperson Gabriel Soto, MD. “Knowing the right way to warmup, especially taking it easy on the first few runs, can help prevent injury.”

Orthopaedic surgeons, the medical doctors who put bones and limbs back together after trauma, offer the following winter sports safety tips:
  • Participate with a partner. If possible, skiers and snowboarders should stay with a partner and within sight of each other. Also, make sure someone who is not participating is aware of your plans and probable whereabouts before heading outdoors.
  • Check the weather for snow and ice conditions prior to heading outdoors. Pay attention to warnings about upcoming storms and severe drops in temperature. Make adjustments for icy conditions, deep snow powder, wet snow, and adverse weather conditions.
  • Dress for the occasion. Wear several layers of light, loose and water- and wind-resistant clothing for warmth and protection. Also wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves and padding and check that all equipment, such as ski and snowboard bindings, are kept in good working order. 
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after activities. It’s important to stay hydrated while participating in sports activities.
  • Always carry a cell phone in case of an emergency.
Numerous sledding injuries are caused by collisions at the end of sledding paths and/or sledding in improper positions. Click here to read a detailed list of safety tips to help reduce these injuries.

Snowboarding and Skiing
Many snowboarding and skiing injuries can be avoided by utilizing appropriate equipment and ensuring a safe environment. Click here to read a full list of snowboarding and skiing safety tips.
Click here to read more safety tips.
About AAOS
With more than 40,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS provides educational programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions and advances the highest quality musculoskeletal care for patients, and is the authoritative source of information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related issues. 

Visit AAOS at: for bone and joint health news, stats, facts, images and interview requests. for inspirational patient stories, and orthopaedic surgeon tips on maintaining bone and joint health, avoiding injuries, treating musculoskeletal conditions and navigating recovery. for patient information on hundreds of orthopaedic diseases and conditions.

Kayee Ip
phone: 847-384-4035
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