Quick Tips on Preventing Winter Sport Injuries

Snow has been falling in Central New York, just in time for President’s Day and school breaks. It’s time to enjoy winter and the SOS Sports Medicine Team and Athletic Trainers have a few tips for staying safe on the slopes.

Skiing and Snowboarding Injury Prevention Tips:

  1. Take lessons with a qualified instructor before braving the slopes. Learn how to fall correctly and safely.
  2.  Know safety rules. Understand and abide by all rules. Know general safety rules, such as how to safely stop, merge and yield to other
  3. Wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles and a helmet. Helmets are sport-specific; do not wear a bike helmet on the slopes. Ski helmets should be worn.
  4. Wear several layers of light, loose and water- and wind-resistant clothing for warmth and protection. Layering allows you to accommodate your body's constantly changing temperature.
  5.  Buy boots and bindings that have been set, adjusted, maintained and tested by a ski shop.
  6.  Check the binding of each ski before skiing. The bindings must be properly adjusted to your height and weight.
  7. An all-mountain snowboard is the best bet for beginners, rather than a specialty board, which is harder to turn and balance on. Also, the longer a board is, the more difficult it will be to control. Choose a board that is the right length for your size and snowboarding ability.
  8. Stay on the competition course and marked trails only.
  9. Watch out for rocks and patches of ice on the ski trails.
  10. Pay attention to warnings about upcoming storms and severe drops in temperature. Make adjustments for icy conditions, deep snow powder and wet snow.


Not everyone hits the big hills for their fun in the snow. Some like to get out the saucer or toboggan and sled instead. Sledding poses risks if people aren’t properly prepared. Here are a few tips to keep safe on the sled.

Sledding Injury Prevention Tips:

  1.  Always sit in a forward-facing position. Don’t be tempted to go head first or in a belly flop.
  2. Only sled on hills that have no obstacles and offer a smooth area to stop. Avoid hills with trees or any that are near water or lead to roads.
  3. Wear a fitted helmet.
  4. Only sled in well-lit areas. Dusk comes early in winter so if you are sledding late day, make sure there will be lights come dark.
  5. Children should only sled with adult supervision.

© 2014 Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists