Safety on the Slopes

Dr. Chris Magovern on how to avoid head injuries while skiing or snowboarding.
3:46 | 01/10/12

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Transcript for Safety on the Slopes
Well for the millions of skiers who plan to invade the slopes this winter might be worth -- assessing the potential risks there are involved with scheme especially when it comes to head injuries. So joining us -- to discuss head injury specifically while skiing or snowboarding. And staying -- all around on the slopes is ABC medical contributor and cardiac surgeon at -- medical center. Doctor Chris McGovern -- -- thanks for being with us today -- -- OK so how prevalent are incidences skiing accident snowboarding accidents in the united steel. -- -- of the -- it's one of the -- -- he do by yourself with -- and -- and I'm not alone or -- ten million people snowboard and -- a year. There are about your likelihood of being injured -- mountains about one in 500 your likelihood of having us a significant head injuries much less -- one -- 5000. Now that is the ways you can become injured the most common way to have a head injuries if you fall and keep your head on the snow okay this is most common injury beginners. The next most common injuries to actually hit he -- stationary object -- -- moving will be another skier via -- this is a much more significant entry this is what killed. Michael Kennedy and -- -- -- years ago so right. Are we in the midst of an epidemic about head injuries and in 2012 absolutely not right to safer sport than swimming and bike riding but we. Have to become yet and I think you know it being a skiers like unique -- this false sense that snow it's off if you take a tumble it's not a big deal but when -- got a good clip and a slow clip. It can really make a bit of it didn't and -- surly kid that likely of these -- -- what about helmets in particular because I've seen more and more palace on the -- these days ago when -- -- -- know what had a helmet of course that was off the days when the skis were you know -- what you work but I think things have changed unanimous help. You bet you they make you invincible absolutely not that's what you have to remember helmets really -- second line of defense OK we are talking about an entry. The first line of defense has to be responsible -- -- and you know that means don't go too fast when you stop stay out of the ways to the people concedes he'll get it. -- -- -- from the trees the trees are really a problem. Particularly for people that don't know how to ski -- -- -- now do helmets help you bet this and we know from from studies that we've we've seen over the last ten years. You're likely -- of having a head injury is twenty to 60% less if you were ahead and -- it's -- -- -- you Wear helmet. -- other thing we know -- is that the didn't wearing a helmet can make the difference between a serious head injury and mild handed head injury. And wearing a helmet to make the difference between a mild head injury and not having an injury also -- to direct more people wearing. Now 60% of -- -- -- yet which is very good to see if I know this is obstinate as is not a bite count which a lot people think it might be entertained over this is not how do you go about fitting that for the proper -- yet it's you know most shops will help you the first thing of course is don't -- -- -- don't Wear hockey -- like him they're they're not designed for that right you wanted to fit snugly you don't want it to be too tight. That's important an awful we -- homestand or children family and and you don't wanna grow into helmet it needs to be snug enough then and then of course you keep which instructs safety gear make the investment forty million might be trying to save some bucks and just try to pass -- family go out -- -- -- proper thing that. What are some of the symptoms and if you do have a head injury if -- arm -- because oftentimes it's not detectable right away that's half the battle have to battles to try to prevent these injuries -- -- half the battles to recognize when that happened. That touch your Richardson two years ago Greg -- the -- -- she's a classic example -- what you look for. Here's a beginner skier on a beginner slope fell -- had felt okay. Went inside had a small headache it got worse she ignored it. It -- it got a lot worse she sought medical attention went to -- Coleman died now the key here is to recognize the symptoms early what are severe headache. Vomiting not being knocked unconscious. Being dizzy being confused not being able to speak not being walked these are all the things that you absolutely have to looking -- Great information doctor McGovern thank you for being with us -- next time we're gonna do this on the -- not here in the studio -- -- -- Friday -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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