Some injuries more common in snowboarders
Since it first rose to prominence in the 1990s, snowboarding has been one of the most popular winter sports among young athletes. Yet despite its popularity, there have long been concerns among parents that the high-speed, adrenaline-fueled activity could put their children at risk for injury. New statistics from one New Mexico ski resort seem to lend some credence to those worries, reports Fox News.
The findings come from Taos Ski Valley, where officials only recently began allowing boarders to come down the slopes. Researchers from nearby University of New Mexico found that in the two years after the change in policy, the number of injuries at the resort rose by about 13 percent, a result that falls in line with statistics nationwide, experts say.
"We recognize that a small but statistically significant increase in injury rate was observed after the addition of snowboarding to this mountain but that factors other than type of sport may play a role in the differences that were identified," David Rust, the study's leader, told Fox News.
Analysts say that the biggest reason for the increase is that snowboarders are often more at risk for certain injuries that don't affect skiers. Specifically, upper body injuries, such as wrist fractures and sprains, prove to be more common among boarders.
The results can certainly be alarming, especially to someone who is concerned about injuries already, but parents can take some steps to ensure that their young boarders stay safe while coming down the slopes. Perhaps most importantly, parents and their kids should inspect the boards and any other used sports equipment before heading to the mountain. In particular, making sure the bindings are in working order will help avoid any malfunctions that cause injury, recommends the University of California, San Francisco.
Concerned parents can also consider purchasing some additional used sports equipment, such as helmets, to help prevent any head injuries should their kids suffer an unexpected fall. Furthermore, it's important to instill in young snowboarders the importance of being safe on the slopes. While parents can't be with their kids while they're on the mountain, making sure they're aware of the best practices, from not going off jumps until they've surveyed the landing area to being vigilant of less experienced riders, can help alleviate any concerns over the safety of the sport.