As part of the annual National Ski Safety Week — which the National Ski Areas Association has expanded to National Ski Safety Month — the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center injury prevention program ThinkFirst will be working next week to encourage skiers and riders to play hard and be safe.
Throughout the month of January, resorts across the country participate in ski safety to educate skiers and snowboarders about being safe and using common sense on the slopes.
ThinkFirst will be working with ski patrol, ski schools, guest services and mountain resorts for the fourth year at Keystone Resort, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Copper Mountain Resort. The goal of ThinkFirst is to raise awareness by educating the public about spinal cord and brain injuries.
Holly Adnan, program director for the local ThinkFirst Summit Medical Center and Mountain Clinics chapter, said ThinkFirst will have a presence at the top or base of each resort with information about skier safety.
“We will be offering the public free helmet-fitting checks and will have lots of giveaways, including several hundred helmets over this upcoming holiday weekend,” she said in a prepared statement.
The Local ThinkFirst Summit Medical Center and Mountain Clinics Chapter has reached more than 9,000 community members and has given away more than 900 helmets to children and families in need. The local ThinkFirst chapter is funded in part by the Summit Medical Center Health Foundation, The Summit Foundation and private donors.
According to ThinkFirst, every year, an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States suffer from a brain injury, and even more experience a spinal cord injury. Injury is the leading cause of death among teens and young adults, and most of these injuries are preventable. Skiers and riders who do not wear helmets are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than those wearing a helmet. Wearing a helmet while skiing or snowboarding reduces the risk of a severe brain injury by 68 percent, according to the organization.
“We encourage the community to come out and visit us at our booths over the weekend and learn more about skiing safely and the prevention of brain and spinal cord injuries,” Adnan said.
The ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation offers several educational programs that have reached millions of young people nationally and worldwide.
For more information visit www.thinkfirst.org.