With changing seasons come new activities, sports, and chores – and many potentially related injuries. Winter can be a challenging season for injury risk. Luckily, knowing what the risks are can help you avoid them and prevent injury. Here’s what you need to know about seasonal injury risks and how to stay safe this winter.

Visit AFC Hillsdale this season for any urgent injury need. Our providers can recommend the best form of treatment and provide medications for pain. Visit our center seven days a week for all urgent care services

Winter Injuries

Accidents can happen anytime, but winter is especially conducive to injury. Even a short walk from your car to the front door can pose a slip-and-fall risk if you live in a cold place. Snow and ice can make any surface difficult to walk on, so be sure to take your time and check your footing, even if it doesn’t look slippery.

Unfortunately, removing the snow could pose an injury risk itself. Shoveling snow not only puts you on the slippery ground for a longer time, but the action of shoveling itself can cause damage to the arms, wrists, back, or knees. Before undertaking any outdoor winter chore, make sure you are properly dressed and warmed up for the activity.

Winter Sports Injuries

While sports and other outdoor activities may be more well known as warm-weather fun, there are a ton of winter sports for the colder months. And like any sport, winter sports present their own specific risks of injury.

Skiing injuries are responsible for around 114,000 emergency room visits each year, with snowboarding pulling in nearly 80,000. Sledding, tubing, and ice skating all bring in tens of thousands of emergency room visitors a year, too. The most common winter sports injuries are broken bones, sprains, and concussions.

Common Winter Injuries for the Elderly

Common health complaints and results of aging, like arthritis and back pain, are often exacerbated during winter. Very low temperatures can cause pain to the joints and overall body stiffness, leading to further injury. Stiffer muscles and joints mean less range of motion and more possibility for falls and bone fractures.

Preventing Winter Injuries

Children, adults, and the elderly can all take steps to prevent some of these common winter injuries without having to avoid going outdoors altogether.

For winter athletes, wearing proper protective gear, like goggles, helmets, and pads, will reduce the risk of injury during the activity. Knowing the rules and guidelines for the sport will also prevent accidents, collisions, and multi-person injuries.

Whether you’re playing a sport or just shoveling the driveway, knowing your physical limits will help you to avoid injury as well. Don’t be afraid to call it quits or take a break if you are in pain. And when you are shoveling or skating, the correct form will prevent strain to joints and muscles.

With the risks that accompany winter weather and sports activities, it’s important to prevent injury as much as possible. Sometimes, though, they’re unavoidable. Visit AFC Hillsdale for treatment this season.