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How to Prevent Brain Injuries While Participating in Popular Winter Sports

Sports accidents are among the leading cause of concussions and traumatic brain injury. A brain injury may result in long-term health implications, including disability. Compensation may be available in cases where another person’s negligence led to an accident and injury.

How Brain Injuries Occur During Popular Winter Sports

A concussion or more severe brain injury typically occurs as the result of sudden force exerted on the victim’s body. This may mean a violent shaking of the head or neck.

An accident and injury may occur during popular winter sports and activities such as:

  • ice hockey;
  • ice skating;
  • sledding;
  • skiing;
  • cross-country skiing;
  • snowboarding; and
  • snowmobiling.

Other sports typically associated with brain injury include soccer and football.

5 Tips for Preventing Brain Injury While Participating in Winter Sports

There is no surefire way to prevent a brain injury. However, winter sports participants and parents may take steps to limit the risk of brain injury for themselves or a child. Below are five tips that may reduce the chances of a serious head injury.

Tip #1: Wear protective gear.

Participation in winter sports calls for the use of safety equipment, including a properly fitted and approved helmet. Ensure the helmet fits even when used in conjunction with a winter hat or headband. A helmet should be replaced when exposed to serious impact, such as a hard fall. Many helmets are not designed to sustain multiple impacts.

Tip #2: Avoid intoxicating substances.

Stay sober when participating in a winter sport. Drugs or alcohol can hinder your coordination and reflexes. Likewise, an intoxicated individual may overestimate his or her abilities, leading to risk-taking behaviours.

Tip #3: Avoid unnecessary risks.

Individuals should understand their personal limitations and skill level and avoid taking unnecessary risks. For instance, a novice skier should avoid black diamond trails that demand a higher level of skill and experience. Meanwhile, parents should take steps to teach children about the dangers of head injury and how to avoid being “pressured” into participating in risky behaviour.

Tip #4: Invest in lessons.

Children and adults alike may benefit from professional instruction in a winter sport, such as snowboarding or skiing. Such lessons may have a positive impact on a person’s ability and skill. This, in turn, may reduce the chances of falls and spills. Additionally, a skilled instructor may be able to provide more personalized information on how to participate in a specific winter sport safely.

Tip #5: Stay alert.

Remain focused on your surroundings at all times when participating in a winter sport. For example, survey ski and snowboard trails before embarking on a run. If a trail seems overcrowded, opt for a different route. Avoid routes that will weave closely to trees, equipment or other obstacles. Familiarize yourself with your surroundings so you know where to anticipate narrow passageways or abrupt changes in direction (such as a sharp turn in a snowmobile path).

You may have the right to pursue compensation in the event of a winter sports injury. Learn more during a free case consultation with a brain injury lawyer at the Preszler Injury Lawyers in Ontario – 1-800-JUSTICE®.

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