Youth Ski Injuries - Family Friendly Patient Ed
Skiing and snowboarding are an increasingly popular activities for both children and adolescents. Injury rates range between 3.9 and 9.1 injuries per 1000 skier days, with injuries ranging from severe (head, neck and spine injuries) to minor (sprains and strains).
In an investigation of injury patterns and severity of 1655 children skiers treated at trauma centers in the United States, skiers were more likely to sustain face, chest, and lower extremity injuries than their snowboarder counterparts. Injuries on the slopes are likely multi-factorial and may be due to improper equipment, inadequate skill, poor trail or park conditions, fatigue, and/or collisions.
Collisions and falls constitute a significant portion of trauma, and are commonly associated with excessive speed, adverse conditions, overconfidence or lack of fear.
Avoiding head injury and enforcing helmet use should be of importance for all children on the slopes. The helmet must be designed for skiing and properly fit, it should not be a helmet designed for another sport.
Always replace the helmet if it has sustained a significant blow. The skier’s equipment, including boots, bindings, and skis, should be outfitted to match their height, weight, level of experience, and boot size.
Poorly functioning or poorly fit equipment is a frequent cause of injuries.