It’s Spring Break!

Be active, be informed, be safe:  Practical safety Tips from the Trauma Experts at the Montreal Children’s Hospital

Montreal, February 27, 2008 – Spring break is here and it is a great time to participate in physical activity while enjoying the outdoors with family and friends!
If you’ll be skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, skating etc. during Spring break use your head and wear a helmet! These sports are fun and promote healthy activity. However the trauma experts at The Montreal Children’s Hospital know only too well that  sports can sometimes lead to serious injuries.

The Trauma and Injury Prevention Programs at The Montreal Children’s Hospital of the MUHC strongly support the findings of a recent coroner’s report which recommends skiers and snowboarders wear helmets. It has been reported that 33 people died on Quebec hills since 1990, and that several studies done have shown that helmets can reduce the risk of serious brain injuries or death by as much as 60%.

Each year,  MCH trauma expertstreat at least 150 children and teens who have sustained snowboarding related injuries, 125 skiers, and approximately 100 kids who have sustained injuries while tobogganing. At least 10% of the patients treated sustained varying degrees of brain injuries and many were hospitalized and required the interventions of our trauma experts.

The MCH urges parents, instructors and ski patrollers to set a positive example for the younger skiers by wearing helmets themselves in order to reduce the risk of serious braininjuries.

The MCH Injury Prevention Program offers some practical tips to keep children and teens active and trauma free during the rest of winter.

For these winter activities, young children should always have adult supervision.

On the hills and in the rink:
  • Wear a helmet and goggles appropriate for the activity.
  • Check the conditions of the hills, icy surfaces are dangerous.
  • Make sure your child or teen gets proper instructions on the use of equipment and skills required for the sport.
  • Check for obstacles that may block the path on the hills.
  • Avoid slopes that are beyond the skill level of your child or teen.Stay within the area identified for the activity.
  • Keep a safe distance from other participants to avoid collisions.
  • Move away from the bottom of the hill quickly to avoid getting hit by others.
  • Use skate guards when carrying skates and when storing them in a carrying bag.
  • Make sure skates and boots are the right size and worn correctly to support the foot and the ankle.
Remember! Wearing protective equipment does not make you invincible. Use common sense and make smart choices. Participating in year round sports and recreational activities contributes to good health and is encouraged but should not end up in a visit to the trauma centre.

For more information or to arrange an interview with a trauma expert call:

Lisa Dutton
Public Relations and Communications
The Montreal Children’s Hospital of the MUHC
514 412-4307