The long-overdue arrival of warm weather may have many of us jumping for joy, but there are those who vastly prefer a colder climate. They’d gladly give up a beach vacation for the chance to glide down a peak dusted with fresh powder. For the estimated 13.9 million active skiers in the U.S., nothing can beat a vacation in the snowy mountains. And considering that the Transportation Security Administration expects to see approximately 65.1 million travelers during the spring break season alone, that’s likely a lot of people who can’t wait to hit the slopes.
That said, you might want to take a pause before you head downhill. You may love the thrill of skiing, but how safe are you really on the slopes? Statistics show that skiers are certainly prone to injury. According to Johns Hopkins, an estimated 600,000 people are injured while skiing or snowboarding every year. That may not be such a surprising figure when you realize that many people aren’t doing enough to protect themselves while engaging in this sport. Despite the fact that protective equipment can reduce the risk of injuries to the head, neck, and face by almost 43%, only 48% of U.S. skiers actually wear their helmets on a regular basis.
You may not even have to actually be skiing to get hurt. Around 6% of skiers report that they’ve been injured on the ski lift during their expeditions. Still, the majority of skiing injuries do occur when an individual falls or loses control during a jump; only a small percentage of injuries occur during collisions with other skiers. But while you may not always have perfect judgment when calculating a jump or navigating a slope, proper protection can prevent some of the most serious damage that occurs during skiing accidents.
If you’re injured in a skiing accident, what should you do? As with many other sports injuries, you can often seek treatment for these physical damages at your local urgent care clinic. Breaks, sprains, strains, and other non-life-threatening events can all be handled by the professional and courteous staff you’ll find at walk-in centers. Of course, it’s always best to try to prevent these injuries before they ever happen -- but if and when they occur, you’ll know where to go.
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