Winter Sports Safety

With winter at its peak and the chance to enjoy a few more weeks of the winter sports activities it has to offer, it could be time to ask, what are your favorite winter sports to engage in? It may be sledding, skiing, ice skating, or perhaps even hockey. Although these sports present us with excitement and the ability to try new activities, it is important that we remain aware of the need for safety while doing so.

Every year nearly 200,000 people receive treatment as a result of injuries due to winter sports. There are numerous injuries that can occur from engaging in winter sports. These can include concussions, strains, fractures, dislocations, and other injuries. Each sport varies in its likelihood of a certain injury occurring, for example, skiers tend to experience knee injuries as a result of a damaged ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). Other sports such as sledding tend to result in head injuries and broken bones. Although it may not be realistic to entirely eliminate the chance of injury, there are a few ways you can limit the probability and enjoy fun, new, and safe winter sports!

One relieving aspect of this is that there are cautionary steps you can take to lower the chances of injury. Let’s take a look at ways you can prevent winter sport related injuries and continue engaging in the hobbies you love.

Slow to Start: Prior to engaging in strenuous sports such as snowboarding or skiing, try warming up. Allow for your muscles, ligaments, and tendons to loosen up through light stretching before taking part in the activity.

Staying in Shape: Ensuring that you do your best to keep your muscles and body in shape can allow for you to jump into winter sports much quicker. Focusing on increasing core strength, upper and lower body strength, and balance can lower risk of injury. When our bodies are in shape and can provide us with a stable base, we are at our best and less injury prone.

Following the Rules: With each winter sport comes different rules to stay safe, and it is important to research the activity you are engaging in prior to. If there are signs when you are skiing or snowboarding, be sure to pay attention to what they say.

Safe to Use Equipment: In any winter sport you are destined to need some sort of equipment, and before doing so, test the equipment to make sure it is safe to use. For example, with sledding, make sure that the sled has no visible safety hazards, and that you have the ability to stop yourself when using.

Falling Correctly: Falling directly onto your elbows, shoulders, and wrists can cause serious injuries. Learning from an informational video or instructor on how to fall correctly can limit the severity of fall related injuries.

Taking into account these tips and tricks to prevent winter related sports injuries will not entirely limit the potential for injury, but it will lower the risk. Even if precautions are taken, injuries may occur, and it is important to receive treatment from a doctor as soon as it happens. Following injuries, you may need rehabilitation, and you can eventually return to those winter sports we all love.

A Resolution for Safety

Happy New Year and new decade! Wow, I cannot believe I am saying that. I enjoy this time of year as it allows me to step back and look at the accomplishments, big and small, over the last year plus all of the joys to come in this year.

Subsequently, my mind often goes wild with all of the New Years resolutions I can make. There are so many options; take up a new hobby, volunteer more, complain less. To a point where it can get overwhelming.

One resolution that is always worth making, and keeping, is protecting my family from accidental injuries. This can also be daunting unless wrapping everyone in bubble wrap is an option.

Safe Kids Worldwide has come up with a solution. It is called My High 5. They know how much safety advice is out there and figuring out what is relevant can be tough. With their My High 5 you are able to pick and choose what is important to you and your family.

Check it out and pick your top 5 safety priorities. Not only will you feel accomplished but also your mind will be set at ease that your family is that much safer. Start the year off right with a committment to safety.

Click the picture below or here to get started!

Taking Care of Grandchildren

Being a grandparent is one of the most rewarding parts of getting older. As new research is constantly being done and new technology appears, things have changed since raising kids yourself. For example, car seats used to be used to keep kids out of the drivers seat, not necessarily to keep them safe. The great thing is that due to this research and technology, childhood deaths due to accidental injuries have been cut in half over the last 30 years! Here are a few reminders to keep your grandbabies safe while in your care are:

  • Keep your medications out of reach. Many medications look like candy to young children and can be misused by curious teens. When visiting or if they come over, go ahead and put your medications somewhere safe. If you keep them in your purse, put your purse out of reach.
  • Get their car seat inspected. 90% of car seats are used incorrectly. Go to an inspection station and have them teach you how to install the car seat properly – they can even show you how the child should be properly restrained in the seat! To find inspection stations near you, head to our inspection station list here
  • Put baby back to sleep. Any time an infant is sleeping, put them down on their back on a flat surface such as a crib or playpen. This is one of the proven ways we can help prevent sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. Also, make sure they are in their own sleeping space, are not covered with blankets (usually a sleep sack will work best so it can not cover their face while they sleep but can stay warm) and do not let them sleep with stuffed animals or other fluffy items in the bed.

Pedestrian Safety

Whether your kids are walking to school, the park or a friend’s house, here are a few simple tips to make sure they get there safely.

The Hard Facts

Unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth leading cause of injury-related death in the United States for children ages 5 to 19. Teenagers are now at greatest risk.

Top Tips

  1. Teach kids at an early age to look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Then remind them to continue looking until safely across.
  2. Teach kids to put phones, headphones and devices down when crossing the street. It is particularly important to reinforce this message with teenagers.
  3. It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. 
  4. Children under 10 need to cross the street with an adult. Every child is different, but developmentally, most kids are unable to judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars until age 10.
  5. Be a good role model. Set a good example by putting your phone, headphones and devices down when walking around cars.
  6. If kids are walking when it’s dark out, teach them to be especially alert and make sure they are visible to drivers. Have them wear light- or brightly colored clothing and reflective gear.

Appreciate the crossing guards at your child’s school? Nominate them for America’s Favorite Crossing Guard here.

April – Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The “I GDL Because…” Campaign is happening now through April 30th!  The goals of the campaign are to increase protective factors of positive social norms and connectedness and also to harness the power of youth advocacy to increase awareness of and adherence to GDL.

43 Crashes per Day Involve Distracted Drivers in Colorado

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

STATEWIDE — Every day in Colorado, distracted drivers are involved in an average of 43 crashes — many leading to serious injury or death. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is leading the statewide charge to address this issue, which accounts for nearly 13 percent of all crashes on Colorado roads.

In 2018, 53 fatalities and 6,269 injuries were attributed to 15,673 crashes involving distracted drivers in Colorado, according to preliminary data from CDOT. Despite the serious consequences, more than 90 percent of people reported driving distracted in the previous seven days, according to a recent survey of Colorado drivers conducted by CDOT. In fact, in Colorado alone, there are an average of 2,380 intersection-related crashes and more than 9,000 rear-end crashes every year associated with distracted driving.
 “Driving is a significant responsibility and demands our full concentration” said CDOT Director Shoshana Lew. “When you fail to pay attention behind the wheel, you put yourself and other travelers at serious risk — our data show that 43 crashes per day in Colorado involve distracted driving.”
Launching this week in conjunction with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, CDOT’s Get Turned On campaign urges drivers with iPhones to turn on “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode to prevent incoming distractions. Once enabled, the feature works by blocking incoming text messages and other notifications when connected to a car’s Bluetooth or when the phone detects the vehicle is in motion. Drivers without Bluetooth can also manually turn on “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode. Android phones offer a similar function, and there are also other third-party apps designed to achieve the same goal regardless of the type of phone a person uses. CDOT has a list of these apps on its website at distracted.codot.gov.

“Do Not Disturb While Driving is a simple tool to help drivers turn off distractions and take back their focus,” said Darrell Lingk, director of CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “It helps eliminate the temptation of quickly checking a text message or alert – a seemingly harmless habit but one that can have serious consequences.”

CDOT offers a variety of resources and app suggestions on its website to help Coloradans become distraction-free drivers, no matter what type of phone they use. The agency aims to educate motorists about the dangers of distracted driving through statewide education and outreach. For more information about distracted driving in Colorado and to learn more about the Get Turned On campaign, visit distracted.codot.gov.

CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees statewide located at its Denver headquarters and in regional offices throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and airports, and administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service.  Governor Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.