HCMC Works to Reduce Injuries on the Slopes

Updated: 02/23/2013 5:45 PM KSTP.com By: Katherine Johnson

Hitting the slopes is always a struggle.  Just grabbing your equipment and adding layer upon layer can wipe you out before you even get to the base.  Nut there's one step many Minnesotans are missing - the helmet.

Hennepin County Medical Center's "Get Your Head in Gear" campaign encourages skiers and snowboarders to snap on a helmet before fastening the straps or clamping into skis.

"All it takes is one that doesn't have it on or the one time they decide to go down the hill without it on and that's when it can happen," said Julie Philbrook, a Trauma Prevention Specialist at HCMC.  "The younger kids are geared up. They are geared up and ready to go but what we're finding is the older kids and the adults that are maybe skiing are not."

Philbrook says wearing a helmet during extreme sports like this can reduce your risk of severe head injury by as much as 85%.

"If you're going to go faster than your two feet carry you you need to do something to protect yourself," she said.

Sometimes, you can have a concussion and not feel it until later.  Symptoms include a severe headache, vomiting, inability to stay awake, fainting and even parts of your body going numb.  If you experience any of these symptoms, see a doctor right away.
For more information on the campaign, visit www.savethisbrain.org.