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All you need to know if you’re hitting the slopes this winter!

It’s that time of year again. A New Year and January blues! People are escaping the doom and gloom by catching some winter sun. The weather is colder and the sun is extremely low, but that doesn’t stop people from heading out and enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, many people fail to realise the sun can be extremely dangerous during these wintery months, especially when the ground is covered with a reflective layer of bright snow or ice.

During this frosty period, whether you’re heading to the slopes or escaping the weather to warmer climates we advise the following:

Dress appropriately

Wear clothing that will protect your body if you are out in the sun. Remember dark colours usually absorb the sun therefore harmful to you and your body. The same principle applies if you are out in the cold. Wrap up, add additional layers of clothing and wear a woolly hat with gloves to keep warm.

Be serious about sun cream

We advise whether you’re on a holiday for either beach or skiing that you apply a high factor sun cream above factor 15 which will protect your skin from sun burn. We also advise that you look out for sun creams that are UV protected and water resistant too.

Don’t forget eye protection

Whilst the sun is low it can have a tendency to reflect of snow, water and ice. This would further increase your exposure to UV radiation, increasing your risk of developing eye issues later on in life.

Long hours on the beach or in the snow without adequate eye protection can also result in short term issues as well. When purchasing sunglasses it is advised that you look for a label that specifically offers 99-100% UV protection. This assures that the sun glass lenses block both forms of UV radiation. Children should wear real sunglasses rather than toy sunglasses. Ensure they are UV protected as children are most vulnerable to the sun. Do not always assume the more expensive or darker the tint on the glasses the more UV protection you will receive this is not the case. It is also not the case with designer sunglasses as well. Just because it may be a well-known brand doesn’t always mean that the coating on the lenses will protect your eyes from harmful rays.

When most of us think of sunglasses, we immediately think of hot sunny climates where the sun is high in the sky and a pair of what I call “bug eyed” sunglasses covering majority of your face whilst sunning it up on a beach or by the poolside. We wear them for fashion, but hopefully mostly for the protection we get from the sun. The tint reduces the amount of light shining in towards the face. It usually reduces it by roughly 85% making it easier to ski and do your usual day to day activities without any glare or feeling uncomfortable from unnecessary lighting reducing your vision.

During the winter period particularly for snow goers, the low sun and weather conditions can make things tricky at the best of times it can be extremely dangerous when it comes to skiing and snowboarding injuries. Prevention and taking precaution is often much more pleasant than the cure if the worst was supposed to happen. Take time to familiarise yourself with measures you would need to take to prevent any serious injuries from coming up.

Here’s a list of precautions you should take whilst jetting off into the winter sun:

  • Purchase the right kind of equipment. Be sure to have your equipment adjusted so it fits to your comfort. You can also take lessons at your local ski shop / arena which will help you improve whilst out on the slopes and will also help you understand exactly how each piece of equipment works and how to use it.
  • Drink plenty of water. Be careful not to get dehydrated.
  • Curb alcohol consumption. Mixing any form of alcohol or drugs with these activities can result in disastrous consequences for both the injured and loved one.
  • Dress in layers! By dressing in layers it allows you to accommodate for the constant change in your body temperature. Hats and gloves are an absolute must. Just for having your head covered you will be saving 60% of your body heat as that’s where heat escapes from the body the most. Mittens are also great for those who are susceptible to cold hands.
  • As mentioned earlier sun screen is recommended as the sun reflects of the sun and can cause both vision and skin damage.
  • When buying clothing for a snowy break be prepared for all kinds of weather. Ensure that your clothing is water and wind resistant. Look for wind flaps on clothing shield zips and drawstring items that be adjusted for comfort. Don’t try to buy anything cheap - good quality clothing always goes a long way and will last a lot longer.
  • Know your limits learn to ski and snowboard smoothly and remain in control. Stop before you become fatigued and most importantly have fun.
  • Familiarise yourself with the slopes and always stay in groups. If that’s not possible then pair up with someone you know you won’t be able to lose.
  • Keeps snacks with you just in case you end up in remote areas and cannot travel down due to high winds or heavy snow falls.
  • It is also important that you make sure both your phone is charged and that you also have a power bank fully charged as well.
  • Do not learn from your friends!  Get a skiing instructor. With a teacher you are on neutral ground and at first it can be very frustrating in which you could lose your temper with loved ones. Learn from someone who will understand your frustration and guide you in the correct manner.
  • Don’t forget the altitude you are at. Whilst at the top of a mountain the simplest of moves can completely tire you out. It’s important to keep this in mind and take regular breaks.

Things to know

  • The average cost of Snowboarding and Skiing equipment is just under £900.
  • 40% of snowboarding injuries occur on the wrist.
  • 45% of skiing injuries usually occur from the waist down.
  • The average age of skiers and snowboarders are between 25 and 34.
  • There’s a 70% chance of snow boarders likely to pick up an injury making it 6 injuries to every 1000 as to skiers who have 3 injured snow goers to ever 1000.
  • Each season there are 39 deaths due to skiing as to 12 for snowboarding.


(https://whitelines.com)

If you or a loved one was injured in a winter weather related accident due to the actions of another of another or the failure of a business, local council to clear ice from the road or an accident or injury whilst abroad you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering you may have endured. Contact Aequitas Legal now on 0161 358 0800.