More than 440,000 people are treated at hospitals, doctors' offices and emergency rooms for winter sports-related injuries each year. These injuries include:
• 58,500 from ice skating
• 91,000 from sledding and tobogganing
• 144,000 from snow skiing
• 148,000 from snowboarding
To avoid these injuries, keep in mind these winter sports safety tips:
• Skiing and snowboarding have their own special equipment. The right gear and the right fit are as vital as knowing what you are doing on the slopes. They will lower your chances of getting hurt.
• Ice skating injuries are often the result of tripping on bumps in the ice or bumping and crashing into other skaters. Know about the state of the ice before you step onto the ice and be aware of others around you when skating.
• Hockey-related injuries can happen on the ice or in the street. Always wear protective gear such as a helmet, pads, hockey pants, gloves, jockstrap or cup and neck protector.
How do these tie back to Urology?
High-contact winter sports such as snowboarding, ice hockey, sledding and skiing can cause a ruptured kidney or testicular and bladder injuries. Most people believe these types of injuries are a result of a ski pole or tree branch going into the belly and puncturing the kidney. However, in reality, these injuries most often happen as a result of falling or from a direct blow to the stomach, groin, side or mid-to-low back. More men suffer a kidney injury from sports than do women.
While the chance of frostbite is less than 5 percent when the air temperature is above 5° Fahrenheit, the chance of getting frostbite raises as the wind chill falls. At wind chill levels below minus -18° Fahrenheit, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in 30 minutes or less.
Frostbite happens mostly on fingers, toes, ears, noses and cheeks. The area becomes very cold and turns white or yellowish gray. If you notice frostbite on you, a family member or friend, head right away to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Did you Know?
The kidney is the third most common organ, after the spleen and liver, to be hurt as a result of blunt force trauma.