It’s the most wonderful time of year—especially for young athletes who are eager to strap on skates and skis at the sight of first snow. Here are a few tips to help make the season bright—and injury-free—all winter long.
Know Before You Go
Before hitting the snow or the ice, be aware of the following risks for these popular winter sports:
- Skiing: Knee injuries and shin bone (tibia) fractures
- Snowboarding: Wrist fractures, shoulder injuries
- Sledding: Traumatic lower-extremity injuries, collision injuries
- Hockey and Skating: Upper- and lower-extremity injuries, concussions
Slow Your Roll
Slow and steady wins the race! Beginners’ courses are recommended for high-risk sports such as snowboarding, skiing, and hockey. Pro tip: Keep your young ones in ski-season shape throughout the year by enrolling them in conditioning classes.
Gear Up for Safety
It’s slippery out there, so be sure to outfit your child with protective equipment. Essentials include well-fitted helmets, gloves, wrist guards, UV-protective goggles, and sunblock (SPF 30+). It’s also a good idea to have a certified technician check your equipment ahead of time.
Warm It Up
In addition to bundling up properly, warm up those muscles with a dynamic warm-up routine. Dynamic stretches are controlled movements (running in place, high knees, etc.) that prepare the body for performance.
Stay on Your Game
Injuries commonly happen during the last run of the day when fatigue sets in. Make sure your child is staying alert—and well hydrated—while out on the slopes. Hydration and nutrition are key for maintaining focus, so encourage them to take multiple water breaks, even if they’re not thirsty.