For many, the colder weather means a trip to the snow with friends and family is on the cards. Mary Dawes, Director of First Aid For You, is encouraging ski-goers to be “Ski-Smart” by following a few simple steps.
“Many emergencies in the snow are often the result of people being over confident in conditions where they are unfamiliar with the terrain and environment,” says Director of First Aid For You Mary Dawes.
Mary’s advice for ski safety includes:
- Dress appropriately – Alpine weather can change rapidly, a sunny morning can quickly turn grey, cold and wet. Wear insulating layers and wherever possible stay dry – waterproof clothing is a MUST.
- Anyone with Asthma should have a written asthma management plan for while they’re on holidays. Make sure you have enough of your prescription medication; don’t rely on local chemists having stock of what you may require. In freezing conditions, pressurised inhalers may not work properly, warming the device in your hands may help.
- For those people with Diabetes, discuss with your doctor the proposed activities and work together to develop a new dose schedule for your medication. If you do feel yourself becoming hypoglycaemic while out in the snow, have some simple carbohydrates immediately – DO NOT WAIT.
- Before you head off for the day on the snow, put the phone number of the local ski patrol in your mobile. If you think you are lost – STOP and THINK. Identify your last confirmed position and estimate your present location. Decide if you will proceed or if you will stop and wait for assistance. If you do stop and you have mobile signal – call for help, either the local ski patrol or 000 /112, select a site out of the wind and use trees, logs or rocks as wind breaks and use skis or branches to mark your location someplace where it may be visible.
As for those who may be learning to ski or snowboard for the first time, Mary recommends safety equipment for young and old; “Younger ones taking skiing lessons will be required to wear helmets, as will anyone looking to have snowboard lessons.
“Wear wrist guards, remembering goggles or sunglasses to protect eyes – young and old – from harmful UV rays,” finishes Mary.
Most importantly, enjoy your time on the snowfields with friends and family and to act sensibly.