Injury Research and Policy Skiing & Snowboarding Research :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Skiing and Snowboarding Safety

Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to spend time outdoors during the winter months. As with all sports, injuries are a risk when you ski or snowboard. Taking a few safety measures can help you have fun and be safe.

Skiing & Snowboarding Injury Facts

  • Bruises and broken bones are the most common types of skiing- and snowboarding injuries.
  • Snowboarders most commonly injure their wrist and arm. Skiers most commonly injure their knee, head or face.
  • Most ski and snowboarding injuries occur during a fall or a crash (usually into a tree).
  • Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of serious injuries among skiers and snowboarders and is also the most common cause of death.


Recommended Equipment


  • Helmet designed for skiing and snowboarding
  • Goggles that fit over a helmet
  • Properly fitted boots and bindings
  • Sunscreen
  • Wrist guards for snowboarders

Skiing & Snowboarding Safety Tips

  • Always wear a helmet designed for skiing or snowboarding.
  • Protect your skin and eyes from the sun and wind. Apply sunscreen and wear ski goggles that fit properly with a helmet.
  • Make sure your boots fit properly and bindings are adjusted correctly.
  • Prepare for the weather. Wear layers of clothes and a helmet liner, a hat or a headband.
  • Do not ski or snowboard alone.
  • Follow all trail rules.
  • Stay on the designated trails.
  • Only go on trails that match your skill level.
  • Take a lesson – even experienced skiers and snowboarders can benefit from a review.
  • Before using a ski lift, tow rope or carpet, make sure you know how to get on, ride and get off safely.  Ask an attendant if you need help.
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