Skiing is a great way to get your kids off the iPad and onto the slopes – an outdoor recreation that lets California born-and-breds see a side of the natural world they might otherwise never witness up close.
But snow is also a fast, high-impact, and slippery medium, one which punishes the overconfident among us with terrible spills. Thousands of children are injured skiing each year in preventable ways, and the vast majority of these could be helped with a little education.
This page is a great place to start. It outlines the most common ski injuries among children, from head injuries to broken bones to torn cartilage. As a pediatric orthopedist, I follow all such resources with interest, and I found this especially helpful:
The majority of these injuries occurred when there was less than 1 inch of new snowfall, and snowfall of less than 2 inches was associated with increased injury severity. This corroborates the long-held ski patroller observation that, with low snowfall, the slopes are icier and faster and skiers are at increased risk of all injuries under such conditions—particularly severe injuries.
In other words, less snow means more go: icier conditions are more difficult to manage and harder to strike. Scant snowfall also means there are often fewer people on the slopes, which can cut both ways: it reduces the chance of a collision with another skier, but it provides far more room to open up and attain top speeds.
Bottom line: ski your expertise, and do not try harder slopes until you have mastered the level before. Making sure that all boots and skis are properly sized is important too, and don’t forget to study some simple ways to minimize the damage of an impact when you lose control.
For more information about pediatric injuries and pediatric orthopedic surgery in San Diego, contact the offices of Dr. William Holland today.