Without question, snow skiing and snowboarding can offer tremendous thrills. Unfortunately those activities can lead to injuries. You can never completely prevent skiing injuries. There are a few steps you can take, though, that could at least lower your chances of injury or decrease the severity of injury should one occur.

Inspect skis, snowboards and other equipment to ensure that they are in top condition.

Because ski professionals check and maintain it, rental equipment can often be very safe.

Wear a helmet to minimize the risk of head injury.

Young skiers and snowboarders who wear helmets have been shown to suffer 43% fewer head, neck and face injuries than those who don’t wear a helmet.

Tips to prevent skiing injuries

Avoid fatigue throughout your sessions.

Many injuries occur when you start to become tired. Take breaks periodically. Drink plenty of fluids. Stop for the day when you struggle to maintain good form.

Stay within the marked boundaries.

The terrain outside of the boundaries creates unsafe conditions. If you crash outside of the boundaries and you can’t ski or you are knocked unconscious, ski patrols might have trouble finding you.

Consider a lesson simply to learn how to fall safely.

If possible, try to keep every joint flexed somewhat as you fall. Keep your chin close to your chest and keep your feet together. Keep your arms up and in front of you. Try to move into a position where you can see where you’re going. Do not try to get on your feet until you stop sliding.

Finally, ski or snowboard with other people.

If you do fall, they can help you get on your feet. If you suffer a serious injury, they can alert medical providers.

Take these steps to prevent skiing injuries or minimize the danger if they occur.