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If Ski Injury Occurs, Plans for Fun Go Downhill Fast
Date:12/30/2009

ted at a certain level, it may not be right for you." Use your own judgment in addition to the ski resort's guidelines.
  • Watch your form: Keeping both shoulders facing downhill and pivoting from the waist down can help minimize risk of injury. Novices can learn proper form by taking a ski class, though even more advanced skiers can pick up valuable tips from ski instructors.
  • Look out for that tree: Pay attention to your surroundings and stay vigilant about watching for hazards, including fellow skiers, snowmaking equipment and ice patches, rocks and crevasses.
  • Give yourself time to adjust to the altitude: Symptoms of altitude sickness can include sleep disturbances, headache, dizziness, fatigue and shortness of breath with exertion. Dehydration also occurs more rapidly at higher elevations, so drink plenty of water. If you're not feeling your best, take it easy your first day or so on the slopes to give your body time to adjust. Always avoid alcohol while skiing.
  • Wear sunscreen: The snow is a powerful reflector of UV rays, so protect your skin and your eyes with sunglasses or goggles, even when it's cloudy.
  • Never ski alone and call it quits when you're tired: Many an injury has occurred at the end of the day, when skiers are fatigued, form and mental alertness begins to slip, and the sun begins to set. If you're having second thoughts about that last run, go with your gut and call it a day, Hacker advised.
  • More information

    The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has more on preventing ski injuries.



    -- Jennifer Thomas



    SOURCE: Alvarado Hospital, news release, December 2009


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