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Be Mindful of Winter Sports Safety This January

January gives the medical professionals at Five Star and WellNow Urgent Care the chance to raise awareness about the link between winter sports and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Rather than suffering from cabin fever, many of our patients like to take advantage of the snowy weather and try their hand at extreme sports – whether it be hitting the slopes, a game of ice hockey or skiing through the country.

National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month is a great time to learn about the risks that winter activities present for serious head injuries. Take these tips into consideration before lacing up your skates or hopping on the ski lift:

  1. Use your head to understand that traumatic brain injuries are injuries to the head that disrupt the brain’s function, usually resulting from high impact collisions. The likeliness that these types of injuries occur during the wintertime increases due to the snow and ice, which often affect the speed at which winter athletes move as well as the slipperiness of different surfaces.
    • Little ones require supervision when it comes to wintery escapades, in case first aid needs to be provided or transport to a nearby urgent care center is needed
    • Busy wintertime attractions such as public ice rinks or ski slopes unfortunately not only require you to be responsible for your own actions, but the actions of those around you as well
  2. Think ahead about the ways that winter athletes can be mindful of potential hazards and safety precautions.
    • Helmets should be a requirement for participation in most winter sports – many ski lodges and skate shops will have an expert on-site who can assist you in finding the right helmet size for your head
    • In your neighborhood game of ice hockey, lay down a “no hits to the head rule” to minimize potential for TBI
    • In all wintery endeavors, stay humble and know your limitations – take lessons or stick to the bunny hill if you need to
  3. Get peace of mind after a head injury by walking in for a BrainScope or ClearEdge® Brain Health Assessment.
    • In just 30 minutes, this FDA-compliant, non-invasive toolkit is able to provide objective data to assess mild brain injuries, such as concussions
    • By using ClearEdge, the medical professionals at Five Star and WellNow can benchmark a patient’s current condition and better estimate recovery time

ClearEdge and BrainScope should only be used if there has been no loss of consciousness and there is no sign of physical injury. If you are experiencing a life-threatening head injury, call 911 immediately or visit your nearest ER. Walk in to our Greece and Liverpool locations for a ClearEdge or BrainScope assessment or our Niskayuna location for a ClearEdge assessment today.

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