When it comes to keeping your teeth in your head during all the fun winter has to offer, there are two things to be mindful of: avoiding obstacles and knowing how to fall correctly.
Actually, understanding how to fall is a good thing to know even if you’re just walking during the winter, let alone skiing, sledding, snowboarding, skating, or snowball fighting.
Let’s look at each one of these fun winter activities and walk you through exactly how to stay safe out there.
Hey! How would you like to put on some awkward boots, lock yourself onto two long wooden boards polished with wax and go super-fast down a snow-packed, sometimes icy trail with trees at every turn?
Sound like fun?
To skiers the world over, that’s a resounding “YES!”
If you’re of the same ilk and are just getting started, or have been away for a while and would like a refresher course before you hit the slopes, here’s some good advice:
- Don’t ski above your experience level: Thinking you can attack a black diamond (difficult) hill when you haven’t skied in years, or worse, never skied, is a recipe for disaster. Work your way up to the tricky hills.
- Practice turning: 24% of dental trauma while skiing is the result of running into other people. That’s a lot less likely if you know how to turn correctly. Get a lesson before you hit the slopes full-force.
- Know how to stop and know how to fall: There are lessons that teach you how to stop the correct way. As for falling, here’s some good prep aimed to protect you.
As with skiing, the same basic rules apply. Falling is a bit different since your feet are locked on a single board – but, here’s an excellent video to walk you through that move.
Backyard fun is almost never as fun as when you are on a sled. But sledding can certainly be dangerous if you’re not careful.
Many injuries (both dental and otherwise) come from plowing into yard obstacles, or after being ejected from the sled and onto the ground.
The key is to know your environment, avoid uncontrollable speeds, and to understand that sometimes ejecting yourself from the sled is much safer than following it into the path of a stationary object.
Since recreational skaters often don’t get up to dangerous speeds, and most people are lucky if they can even get moving on skates, injuries from skating are mainly due to falls where one’s face comes in contact with the ice.
Knowing how to fall correctly is key, and understanding the limits of your expertise will help protect you as well.
Skate confidently, but don’t overdo it!
Snowball fights can be one of the best things ever, even when you’re an adult.
They’re also a great way to lose a tooth, get a black eye and bruise the heck out of your face if you’re not careful.
Practice safe snowball fighting by:
- Building a fort to protect yourself from your crazy buddies
- Having a supply of snowballs on-hand so you can retaliate without getting overtaken by a heavy assault
- Have a safe word that will automatically cancel play if you’re in danger
- Know how to duck fast
- Ensure all players don’t throw snowballs with ice or rocks packed within
Well, there you have it. Staying safe and having fun is pretty darn easy if you take just a few precautions.
Stay safe out there and enjoy the winter!