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Responsibility the Key to Safe Skiing

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Competitive skiers have been wearing helmets for years to protect against head injuries.
RALEIGH — The skiing-related deaths of Michael Kennedy and Sonny Bono havemany people wondering if it's really safe on the slopes. How can youavoid the dangers? First and foremost, use good judgment.

Lane Rains is getting ready to take a group of boy scouts on a big skitrip. He is well aware of the dangers involved. His group was given tipsby ski instructors. Rains knows from his experience skiing in Europe thatyou have to be safe.

Rains is an experienced skier. But sometimes accidents can happen to eventhe experts.

"It doesn't matter what sport we are talking about," says Stephen Walker,General Manager of Slope and Sail. "All sports have some risk assigned tothem."

Walker has been in the ski business for 10 years. He says there arethings you can do to minimize those risks. They require being a responsible skier.

For example, don't ski too close to the edge. Don't ski faster that youcan control. Make sure you're responsible for your own safety, and avoidpeople and objects in front of you.

The other part of safe skiing involves equipment. Helmets are important, and making sure your equipment is in good shape could keep you from gettinghurt.

Slope and Sail employees test ski bindings to make sure they are releasingproperly. That measure could prevent a leg injury.

Using common sense and good equipment could keep your trip down the slopesfrom turning into a ride to the hospital.

A few more helpful tips:

  • Check your equipment.
  • Take some kind of lesson before you hit the slopes.
  • When you are on the slopes, watch your speed.
  • Look out for others.
  • Watch for changes in the weather conditions.
  • Remember to sign a permission for treatment form, just in case youdo get hurt.
  • Make sure that the equipment fits your height and weight.
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