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Safety on the Slopes

Catastrophic head and spine injuries account for 17% of all bodily injuries to skiers and snowboarders.

Recent US Consumer Safety Protection Commission statistics reported 114,000 injuries from skiing, 79,000 from snowboarding, and 91,000 sledding and tobogganing injuries that year.

It only makes sense then to observe proper precautions.


  • Wearing a properly fitting helmet is the single most important precaution an outdoor sportsperson can take to prevent injuries to the head, neck and spine.
  • Inspect the condition of bindings, ensuring they properly secure your boots to your skis or boards.
  • Boots need to be well-fitted in order to keep your feet warm and safe. You must have room to wiggle your toes without having a sloppy side-to-side fit.
  • Wear goggles to ensure safe visibility.
  • Check out back protectors, especially if you will be on a challenging slope or tend towards back strain and pain.


  • Keep warm! You are more injury-prone if you are uncomfortable.
  • …but avoid overheating. Dress in layers.


  • Keeping in shape year round will help you avoid back strain and injury.
  • Warm up and stretch thoroughly before hitting the slopes…every time.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause weakness and make you more vulnerable to falls and collisions.

Common Sense

  • Stay within your physical means. Don’t sled or ski on slopes that are beyond your level of experience or expertise.
  • Pay attention to weather reports and slope conditions.
  • Always have 365-degree awareness. Avoid any potential hazards, look out for others on the hill who may not be aware of you.
  • Stay in control.
  • Listen to your body. Stop when you are hungry, have any pain, or are feeling fatigue.

* Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.


Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery