Blog: Ice skating safety 101
Almost every Christmas story has it – the beautiful scene with the gliding and graceful (or not so graceful) ice skaters. This wonderful winter tradition attracts many first-time ice skaters every year.
As a professional figure skating instructor on staff at a Chicagoland ice rink, here are some tips I offer first time skaters:
- Practice falling off ice first, especially falling in ways that protects your limbs and head. Keep your head upright and limbs away from your blades.
- If you should fall, get up quickly. Other skaters will have a much harder time seeing you when you are down low on the ice and might have difficulty stopping to avoid hitting into you.
- Don’t skate alone. This is especially true if skating on an outdoor pond or lake. The buddy system helps in skating just as it does in swimming.
- Watch where you are going. Watch for skaters around you and also watch the ice ahead of you for damaged areas.
- Find properly fitted skates. Make sure there is ankle support as well as a sharpened blade. Someone at the rink can assist you if you have any questions about getting the correct ice skates.
“When you fall, you are falling on a very hard surface of ice,” says Dr. Neault.“It’s extremely important to protect your head with a properly fitting helmet.”
Concussions are a very serious injury and a consequence of many sport-related injuries, and ice skating is no exception.
“Use of other types of protective equipment such as wrist guards, knee pads and elbow pads should be considered for prevention of injuries during ice skating,” say Dr. Neault.
These tips will help people enjoy their first time ice skating experience. As the ice skater lingo goes, “SK-8 GR-8.”
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.