Friday, October 31, 2014

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Helmets encouraged when sledding and during other winter activities

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Helmets encouraged when sledding and during other winter activities
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It's beginning to look a lot like winter. Many people in our area took advantage of the foot or more of snow that fell across the region. Sledding was a popular activity on Thursday. But as our Iris St. Meran tells us, the Trauma Department at Upstate University Hospital wants sledders to put on a helmet before hitting the snowy hills.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Mother Nature brought what many people had been hoping for: snow and lots of it. With that came the return of a popular winter activity.

Alex Conway said, "With this surprise everyone wants to go sledding because we haven't had it in so long."

And he wasn't alone. Many came to Westcott Reservoir ON Thursday. In the past, the city has taken a number of measures to prevent people from sledding here because it's been the scene of many accidents. But the ideal conditions made it simply irresistible.

And they came prepared.

"I wear warm clothes, some good boots and a nice coat," said Patrick Daniul.

But the Trauma Program Manager at Upstate University Hospital says you should add a helmet to that list when you're sledding, skiing or doing other winter activities.

Upstate University Hospital Trauma Program Manager Maryann Fields said, "A simple helmet because of ice, trees, rails with the tricks, flipping with the tricks all of those things, just a simple helmet can save your head."

But, everyone we caught up with didn't have one.

Michaela Korczakowski said, "Not usually sledding I don't, but snowboarding, usually, yeah."

Even though the snow can be soft and fluffy, medical professionals say, hitting your head while in it can cause some serious injuries.

With a concussion people can have memory changes, lose use of limbs, headaches. For serious trauma, a patient can go into a coma or even die. It's reason enough for one sledder to reconsider what gear he uses.

"It is something, I'd consider because no one has ever approached me with the idea of wearing protective gear while sledding because I've never heard of anyone doing it in the first place," said Conway.

Safety first. That's the message Fields hopes to send so those who enjoy the activity can continue doing it.

You should use a helmet made for snow sports, because they not only protect, they insulate too. Fields also says you should check your helmet at the beginning of the season to make sure it still fits and isn't damaged.

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