Healthy Living in the North

It’s a no brainer!

Skier sliding on a rail.

No-one looks uncool wearing a helmet and doing a rail slide… Gear up!

When I was a teenager I used to think that wearing a helmet was pretty much the dorkiest thing that I could possibly be seen in; was I ever wrong. One day I was snowboarding at Powder King and I was approaching a flat part of the hill. In order to make it to the lift, I had to build up my speed and before I knew it, I had tumbled head over heels about 6 times. My whole body was stiff and I was black and blue all over, but thankfully I was wearing a helmet. This got me thinking, “Why is it so dorky to protect myself?”

As Canadians we don’t let much hold us back. We spend time outside in all 4 seasons and have fun doing it but we need to keep safety in the sport to keep it fun. Did you know that head and spinal cord injuries are increasing? The majority of head injuries are concussions. Traumatic brain injuries account for 50-88 per cent of deaths for both skiers and snowboarders (Parachute Canada). Simply wearing the proper safety equipment, including a helmet, can prevent many of these fatalities. In fact, wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 35% while skiing and snowboarding.

Head injuries often go unnoticed since there is often no visible evidence and many people don’t notice obvious symptoms. Indications of head injuries may not be open wounds or bruises; however, a possible head injury can occur when either the head is bumped or jolted directly (blow to the head) or indirectly (blow to the body causing the head to be jolted or whipped) in a way that causes the brain to bounce around in the skull.

The British Columbia Injury Research and Prevention Unit has created the Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT) for coaches, parents and players to learn more about concussion awareness. CATT was developed to raise awareness including causes, signs, and how to care for someone who is suffering from a concussion. If you could prevent injury by taking a simple step-by-step guide about concussion awareness, why wouldn’t you? Be the leader and educate yourself so you can educate others. You could save a life. You can check out the training tool at CATT online.

Next time you’re out enjoying your winter activities, think to yourself, “What’s more important, how I look? Or whether or not I am safe?” Concussions matter, wear a helmet & gear up for winter!

You could win a new ski/winter sport helmet! Enter the Gear Up for Winter contest!

Check out the awesome YouTube video we made!

Learn more:

Kimberlee Hrabinsky

About Kimberlee Hrabinsky

Originally from Prince George, Kimberlee has returned to her hometown via stops in North Battleford, Calgary, Dawson Creek and Quesnel to attend the Nursing program at UNBC. Outside of school and practicum work, Kimberlee enjoys going to the lake, taking pictures, camping, and being outdoors.

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Gear up for winter

Winter forest

Where do you most like to gear up for the winter? Tell us on our Facebook Page for yuor chance to win a ski/winter sport helmet!

Have you set any goals for the New Year yet? How about starting the year off with making a commitment to wearing a helmet while engaging in your favourite winter sports and activities?

According to Parachute Canada, everyone should be gearing up; using the right gear for the sport. It’s estimated that approximately 35 per cent of all skiing and snowboarding head injuries could be prevented by simply wearing a helmet! Especially at risk are youth aged 10-19. This age group has the highest number of preventable injuries related to skiing and snowboarding.

Living in northern B.C., we have ample opportunity to ski, snowboard, ice skate, toboggan and snowmobile right in our own backyards. We are so fortunate to know the joy and exhilaration of playing in a winter wonderland. To stay in the game and on the slope, we need to do our part to keep active and prevent serious winter sport injuries!

So, where can you start? Get motivated and involved – commit to wearing the gear. Tell us where you’ll be wearing your gear this winter and you could win!

From January 14th to the 28th, we’re running a Facebook contest where you can post your favourite winter activity spots in northern B.C. (photos welcome!) for a chance to win a ski/winter sport helmet! The deadline is 2 p.m. on January 28th, full contest details available on our Facebook Page.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be sharing all sorts of winter sport safety tips and information. Stay up to date by checking out the Northern Health Facebook & Twitter page.

Watch our awesome Gear Up For Winter video to get yourself ready for some safe winter fun.

Want more convincing facts about helmet safety? Check out Parachute Canada’s video below!

Alandra Kirschner

About Alandra Kirschner

Originally from Abbotsford, Alandra moved to northern B.C. in 2012 to pursue schooling to become a Registered Nurse. A 4th year UNBC student (BS, Nursing), Alandra is passionate about her field, especially acute care and mental health/addictions. In her free time, you’ll find her practicing yoga, watching movies, camping, and travelling.

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