Corpus Christi Rehab Hospital | Winter Sports – Snow Much Fun!
Provided by: Dr. Michael Fuentes, Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital
Even though snow isn’t likely in the Corpus Christi area, many fans of winter sports will be
traveling during upcoming months to participate in activities that include skiing, snowboarding, sledding,
snowmobiling, and ice skating.
Winter sports and activities are a great way to remain active during the colder months. But, with
winter activities comes some cautionary advice. Especially for those who don’t regularly have access to
Skiing and snowboarding are a great form of exercise. But ice and snow can create hazardous
conditions that can lead to falls, and falls are the leading cause of brain injuries.
Your brain is the consistency of gelatin. It’s cushioned by fluid inside your skull. When you suffer
a blow or jolt to the head, it can forcibly slide your brain back and forth, which can stretch and damage
the brain cells and create chemical changes. It also can lead to bleeding in or around the brain, which
can cause symptoms such as drowsiness, confusion, blurry vision, headaches, nausea, dizziness, or
difficulty in concentrating and remembering things.
Brain injuries can affect individuals not only physically, but emotionally and behaviorally as well.
In the United States, more than 5 million people live with disabilities caused by brain injuries.
Although the danger of a head injury is real with winter sports, don’t let it stop you from
enjoying your activity. Just be cautious. There’s no one tip to keep you 100 percent safe, but there are
many that can minimize the risks. With a little precaution and planning, you can keep yourself and your
family free from injury during winter activities.
Here are a few tips for participating in winter sports:
• Know your limitations, especially if you’re new to a sport or don’t participate in it regularly.
Take a lesson from a trained professional if you’re just starting out. And consider a refresher
lesson if it’s been a while since you’ve participated in that activity or if you want to better
• If skiing or snowboarding, go on the slope that’s appropriate to your skill level. Novices
should always go on beginner slopes.
• Wear a helmet. Choose the right helmet for the right activity and make sure it fits properly.
• Pay attention to the ground surfaces and conditions. Take note of any icy patches, drops,
uneven terrain and turns.
• When outdoors, stay in well-marked and maintained areas. Don’t go off established paths.
• Wear proper equipment for the sport or activity you’re participating in, especially shoes or
• Stay alert and don’t wear headphones.
• If skiing, snowboarding or sledding, try to stay in the middle of the trail and away from trees.
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Dr. Michael Fuentes is the Medical Director of Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital. The hospital
provides specialized rehabilitative care to patients recovering from disabilities caused by injuries,
illnesses, or chronic medical conditions. For more information, visit CCRH.ernesthealth.com, call 361-906-
3700 or visit the hospital at 5726 Esplanade Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas.