According to Paul Llobet, MD, Chief Medical Officer of HealthAlliance Hospitals, members of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), unpredictable terrain and changing weather heighten the risk of injuries on the slopes.
Prepare by researching climate and conditions to choose the proper clothes and protective gear. Snug-fitting ski helmets are key to preventing traumatic brain injury resulting from a jolt or blow to the head. Confirm a proper fit with the finger test: If you can easily insert a finger on the side, the helmet is too loose. “Also, helmets are only able to sustain one direct hit,” Dr. Llobet adds. “If you’ve already hit a tree or ice, you need to replace it.”
Take all head injuries seriously, he urges, no matter how minor. Even mild concussions need immediate attention. “Small falls can be as deadly as severe injuries,” he says. “If you start feeling dizzy, confused or lethargic, notify the ski patrol. Deciding to go home and sleep can lead to a life-threatening bleed.”
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