Learning Center

Safety First on the Slopes


There's nothing like swooping down snow-covered slopes on a pair of skis, or free-styling on a snowboard. If you're among the millions who enjoy these winter sports, be sure to bring safety along for the ride.

Skiing and snowboarding can invite real dangers – from frostbite to twisted knees to traumatic brain injuries.

Every year, an average of 40 people die skiing or snowboarding, according to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA).

No matter what your experience level is, collisions can happen.

Wear a helmet

American Family Children's Hospital says it's important to wear a helmet every time you hit the slopes. Deaths related to snowboarding and skiing are usually due to head injuries. Kids under 17 have twice the risk of traumatic brain and spine injury.

By wearing a helmet when you ski or snowboard, you could reduce your rate of head injury by 53 percent.

Safe skiing and snowboarding

The NSAA recommends these actions every time you head downhill.

  • Stay in control to avoid other people or objects.
  • Give people ahead of you the right of way.
  • Only stop in a safe place where you don't obstruct a trail.
  • When merging onto a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  • Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  • Obey posted signs and warnings.

For more information on how to keep you and your family safe and secure, sign up for @dvisor, American Family's free monthly email newsletter.