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SUNDAY, Jan. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Skiing, skating, snowboarding and sledding are great ways to stay active during the winter -- if you take proper safety precautions.
These sports require planning and caution to avoid potentially serious injuries, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
"Common winter sport injuries from skiing and snowboarding include sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures," Dr. A. Herbert Alexander, an orthopedic surgeon in Ketchum, Idaho, said in an academy news release.
More than 310,000 people were treated in hospitals, doctors' offices and emergency rooms in 2012 for winter sports-related injuries, according to the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission. Of these, more than 40,000 were caused by sledding, nearly 98,000 involved snowboarding, about 120,000 were skiing injuries and 53,000 involved ice skating.
"Often, these injuries occur at the end of the day, as people try to get in one more ski, sled or snowboard run, despite fatigue or discomfort," Alexander noted. "Fortunately, most winter sport injuries can be prevented if participants stay in good physical condition, gradually increase their level of difficulty, stay alert and stop when they are tired or feel pain. Don't forget to wear helmets while skiing, snowboarding, or sledding. Remember to stay well-hydrated and remember to use sunscreen."
Sledders could reduce their risk of injury by sledding in the correct position and not veering out of a sledding path. Skiers and snowboarders should also use the right equipment and follow the rules of those sports.
The academy provided several more winter sports safety tips, including the following:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more winter health and safety tips.