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15% Of Brits Suffer Injuries On The Slopes

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Almost one in six British holidaymakers (15%) suffer an injury when they participate in winter sports, according to new research which reveals the top causes of skiing accidents.

The study by law firm Irwin Mitchell found that going too fast on the slopes was the most common cause of injury, mentioned by 27.5% of the 1,200 people questioned, followed by lack of experience, practice or training, cited by 23.5%.

One in five survey respondents (20.3%) blamed an injury on another skier/snowboarder, with 17% specifically mentioning a collision with another skier/snowboarder (17%). Another 17% said that they had been inured because of bad terrain.

A significant number of injuries sustained on the slopes are serious, with more than a quarter of those who were injured (27.5%) having to spend time in hospital and one in five (20.3%) forced to cut their holiday short and fly home. An alarming 8.5% of the injured skiers suffered a head injury, the law firm reported.

The study highlights the importance of doing everything you can to avoid injury – starting before you even leave home, by making time for training and taking lessons if you´re inexperienced.

Advice released last week by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) says that many skiing and snowboarding injuries can be avoided by using the appropriate equipment and ensuring a safe environment.

When you´re ready to hit the slopes, remember:

• Don´t go it alone. If possible, stay with a partner and within sight of each other – and make sure someone who is not participating is aware of your plans.

• Check the weather for snow and ice conditions before you head outdoors, and pay attention to warnings about the weather and conditions.

• Dress appropriately, with several layers of light, loose, water- and wind-resistant clothing for warmth and protection, as well as protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves and padding. Check that all your equipment is in good order.

• Cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are vulnerable to injury, so warm up thoroughly.

• Always carry a mobile phone in case of an emergency.