Winter is coming, and that means we soon expect to see an uptick in head injuries from certain activities here in Minnesota. From winter sporting activities to black ice, the winter season can quickly lead to a severe head injury if you’re not careful. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some of the seasonal risks to your head health, and we explain how to care for head injuries.
Common Winter Head Injuries
The winter season brings with it some unique challenges to our head health. Here’s a look at some of the ways that winter can increase your risk of a head injury.
Winter Sports – From downhill skiing and snowboarding to lacing up the skates and skating around on one of our more than 10,000 lakes, winter gives us the opportunity to participate in some fun seasonal activities. However, the snow and ice is often very unforgiving if we slip and fall, and our heads can oftentimes be the first contact point on the ground. When participating in winter sports, stay within your physical limits and be sure to wear a helmet to protect your brain in the event of a fall.
Snowmobiling – Every year we treat patients who have suffered a concussion or a more traumatic injury as a result of being thrown off or crashing their snowmobile. It can be a fun hobby when performed safely, but it can be a grave threat to your head health when performed with reckless disregard. Again, always wear a helmet when snowmobiling, and be sure to follow the rules of the trail and avoid going too fast around blind or sharp curves.
Sidewalk Snow and Ice – If you’re like most people, you’re tasked with removing snow and ice from your driveway and walkways, and that can lead to slip and fall injuries. We don’t expect you to wear a helmet when clearing snow and ice from your walkways, but we do recommend that you invest in quality winter boots that provide good traction in poor conditions as a way of helping you stay upright.
Ladder Work – If you’re getting up on a ladder to hang Christmas lights or to remove heavy snow from your roof, be very careful about climbing a ladder in the winter. Odds are the base of the ladder will be on unstable ground, so make sure you have someone at the bottom to keep it from rocking or shifting. Don’t get up on a ladder when snow and ice have already accumulated unless it’s absolutely necessary, and if you need to, ensure you take steps to prevent against falling off the ladder.
Car Accidents – Car accidents are troublesome all year round. In the summer there are more cars on the road and we can travel at faster speeds, and in the winter we have a greatly reduced stopping time because of poor road conditions. Both seasons can jeopardize your health, so it’s important to drive cautiously during the winter when there’s ice on the road. Even low speed collisions can send your head and neck violently in one direction, so give yourself plenty of breaking distance and always buckle up to help avoid a more serious head injury.
If you suffer a concussion or another serious head injury during the winter, make sure you proactively treat the issue by setting up a consultation with a neurospecialist in your area. Dr. Chang can help you get back to feeling normal and ensure there aren’t any severe issues lurking below the surface of your head injury. For more information, or to set up an appointment, give his office a call today.