The top 5 pathologies and a reminder about precautions to take before heading down the slopes

The top 5 pathologies and a reminder about precautions to take before heading down the slopes

The top 5 pathologies:

  1. Sprained knee, or a torn anterior cruciate ligament 
  2. Upper body injuries: injuries to the shoulders and wrists
  3. Lower body fractures: fractures of the leg or thighbone 
  4. Spinal injuries: cervical spine sprain, or compression fracture of the thoracolumbar spine
  5. Head injuries

Are you leaving with coverage?

Anybody who causes an accident to a third party is covered by liability insurance, which is included in comprehensive home insurance policy. Rescue services that are required on-or-off ski runs, search operations, repatriations, or even a helicopter rescue are usually very costly and the liability does not cover the incurred costs. This type of misfortune can therefore be very expensive. Of course your situation is different if you take out a complementary « ski or snow » insurance policy before you hit the slopes, or verify in your home insurance policy or with your credit card (usually high-end) that you are indeed covered. But be careful: each credit card has its own cost coverage ceiling, and the card must have been used to partially or fully pay for the service in question, such as purchasing the lift tickets. 

Evacuations from isolated ski runs or for severe injuries may require a helicopter rescue operation: here the cost depends on the type of rescue services used (ambulance, civil security forces or mountain rangers).  

Adopt the right reflexes when you arrive at the ski resort

It’s essential that you leave with ski equipment that is in good condition and is well fitted to your size and level of skiing. And make sure that a professional checks your skis so as to avoid, whenever possible, a sprained knee - the most common injury.  Protect yourself well by wearing a knee brace, which limits the risk of a knee injury, and a ski helmet to protect your head in case of a collision. Snowboarders should wear wrist protectors to decrease the risks of breaking or fracturing their wrists. In addition, for those adept off-piste skiers, it is strongly recommended to ski with a guide and to have equipment that includes some kind of rescue system - a machine that helps search for avalanche victims. Be sure it is fitted with a perfectly functioning battery and is engaged in transmission mode before starting. Also have on hand a probe, a shovel and a backpack that includes an avalanche airbag.

Once on the slopes, limit the risks of accidents

It takes about 48 hours for the body to adapt to the high altitude, so it is recommended that you stretch well before putting on your skis. Also, do not exert yourself too much at first and begin by taking the easier runs. 

Remember: the most serious accidents occur between skiers, so it is critical that you watch out for others, control your speed and respect all signs along the runs. And never forget one of the most important rules: the skier downhill from you always has the right-of-way.

What to do in case of an accident

Remember to systematically download onto your cell phone the emergency number of the ski resort where you are skiing; and if you witness an accident, respect the basic rules of first aid: protect, alert, assist. While waiting for help to arrive, cover the victim with something warm so they do not catch cold, and talk to them so they feel reassured. This is important.