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Responsible on the Snow

Everyone needs to be aware and keep safety a priority.
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Whether your family wants to take advantage of the last days of winter, or gearing up to purchase next season passes, skiing can be an option. However, you want to make sure that everyone is safe while participating in this sport.
Linda Elam, a Boise resident and mother, is an avid and experienced skier. She has shared some thoughts to questions that may come to mind:
• Do you consider skiing a safe and family friendly sport?
“Skiing and snowboarding can be a wonderful opportunity for families to spend time together, in friendly competition or just enjoying the beauty of the winter wonderland.
"To be safe, proper gear (helmet, sunscreen, eye protection), ski clothing to stay warm, and stretching before and after skiing are all very important. Also, by following the Code of Conduct, everyone can have a good time.
"Skiers/Snowboarders Responsibility Code endorsed by the National Ski Patrol
1. Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.”
• What do you do if you have an accident?
“Skiers and snowboarders fall all the time. It’s part of the fun- you fall down, you get back up. Repeat.
For the times that you really injure yourself, assess the situation. Don’t panic.
"If you can move, get yourself out of harm’s way--the slopes are crowded with people who are moving at high speeds.
Skis should be placed in a crisscross position above the injured person (snowboard upright in the snow). This is a flag to other skiers that there is an injured person on the slope and they need to yield. This will alert passing Ski Patrol personnel to stop and assist. If you are alone, try and reach your phone to call 911. If you don’t have a signal, use your voice to call out to passing skiers/boarders. They can go fetch the Ski Patrol. Allow the trained professionals of the Ski Patrol to check out your injuries and help you decide if you are okay to continue or should seek treatment at the Emergency Room. Better to be safe than sorry!”

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