Snowboarding QUICKGuide

The experts at Summit Orthopedics provide snowboarding injury prevention tips in their QUICKGuide to prevent injuries and stay safe during the sport.

Prepare for the rigors of snowboarding

This is a tough sport on your body, and requires physical fitness and strength to do it well and safely.  If it is early in the winter season, ease into snowboarding by not doing too much, too soon.  Your muscles need to adapt to the unique demand snowboarding places on them.

Don’t try this at home

Snowboarding comes with a lot of tricks, many of which can involve significant risk without proper training and supervision.  Teach your children to snowboard within their ability level and not try tricks just because it’s something a friend or someone on TV did.

Know the risk zones and plug in common sense

Two of the most common injury times are right after lunch and nearing the end of the day when fatigue sets in.  Rest every couple of hours to hydrate and recharge.  Also, using common sense in terms of their ability level and the difficulty of the terrain will help decrease risks of injury.  Beginning snowboarders have a much higher incidence of injury than more experienced snowboarders.  Teach the rules of ski hills, looking uphill when entering, the person ahead has right of way, staying within the bounds of the marked hills and trails, and proper lift entry and exit.  Also, if your child snowboards often, the rate of injury is lower for those who have their own properly fitted equipment, as compared to those who rent or borrow.

Protect those wrists

Wrist guards are an optional piece of protective gear that is worth considering. Wrist fractures are a very common injury in snowboarders due to falling and catching themselves with their hands since their feet are buckled in. Wrist guards may help to reduce that injury rate.

Helmets make a difference

Do what you have to do to get your kids to wear helmets when snowboarding.  Currently it’s about 50/50 of those who do and don’t wear helmets.  Looking at the stats, a properly fitted helmet decreases related injury by over 40%.  If it means getting a helmet with some style and personality to it, so there is buy-in, so be it.  Also, be aware of the signs of a concussion.

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