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From the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: More than 246,000 people were treated at hospitals, doctors’ offices, and emergency rooms for injuries related to winter sports in 2015, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

  • A majority of common winter sports injuries can be prevented if participants prepare for their sport by keeping in good physical condition, staying alert, and stopping when they are tired or in pain. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent injury during your favorite winter activities:
  • Never participate alone in a winter sport.
  • Keep in shape and condition muscles before participating in winter activities.
  • Warm up thoroughly before playing or participating. Cold muscles, tendons, and ligaments are vulnerable to injury.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves, and padding.
  • Check that equipment is working properly prior to use.
  • Wear several layers of light, loose, and water- and wind-resistant clothing for warmth and protection.
  • Wear proper footwear that provides warmth and dryness, as well as ample ankle support.
  • Know and abide by all rules of the sport in which you are participating.
  • Take a lesson (or several) from a qualified instructor, especially in sports like skiing and snowboarding. Learning how to fall correctly and safely can reduce the risk of injury.
  • Pay attention to warnings about upcoming storms and severe drops in temperature.
  • Seek shelter and medical attention immediately if you, or anyone with you, is experiencing hypothermia or frostbite.
  • Make sure everyone is aware of proper procedures for getting help if injuries occur.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after activities.
  • Avoid participating in sports when you are in pain or exhausted.