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Wear a helmet, and ‘know your abilities’ — How to avoid injuries during winter activities

Posted at 9:23 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 23:23:05-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Andrea Radford says her family learned the hard way the importance of knowing one's limits.

Her son Chase was just 10 when he went over a jump while skiing with the family at Snowbird. But when he fell, he broke his collarbone and caused a longer-lasting impact.

"It took him out for almost three months. He loves to play soccer, he loves to spend time at the skate park, and he wasn't able to do any of those," Radford said.

He also wasn't able to ski the rest of the season, which his moms says taught him a pretty good lesson.

"Definitely be careful out there. Know your abilities," Radford said. "I think he was under the impression that nothing would ever happen to him... It was too high of a jump for him."

But Radford says he was egged on by his older brothers.

"He has zero fear, and just thought he could make the jump," she said.

Health professionals report seeing a real spike in injuries from snow-related activities like skiing or snowboarding or even just sledding in the neighborhood.

Jessica Strong is the community health manager for Primary Children's Hospital, and she says that although these injuries are fairly common, they are often preventable.

"Take a look at the hill before you go down. You're looking out for rocks or trees or anything else that might create a hazard," Strong said. "It's really important that when you're doing outdoor or winter activities that you're wearing appropriate safety gear like helmets."

Fortunately, in Chase's case, he was wearing a helmet, and his mom says she knows his situation could have been worse. He has fully recovered and is back to a very active lifestyle.

Still, she warns other parents out there to be careful.

"It was a big injury for him," Radford said. "Definitely make your own kids aware of their abilities."