SPOKANE, Wash. - After a woman fell on the Ice Ribbon at Spokane’s Riverfront Park on Friday and died from her injuries, the City of Spokane is already changing their policies.
Riverfront Park now has free helmets for anyone on the Ice Ribbon.
When KREM2 checked Monday, only a handful of people were using them.
Ice skating injuries are relatively common, whether it be recreational, figure skating or hockey.
According to the Rothman Institute at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, which is recognized international for orthopedic science, about 50,000 ice skating related injuries happened in the last year in the U.S.
A local athletic trainer with MultiCare Health in Spokane explained how trained skaters are taught how to control their head, neck and shoulder muscles to fall properly on a slippery surface, but beginners may not know how to land properly on their trunk and backsides. Heidi Peterson said the combination of the hard surface created by ice layered over concrete and the force of airborne impact created by a slip makes ice-skating rinks dangerous for inexperienced skaters.
Officials from the Rothman Institute said to take the following five risks associated with ice skating seriously:
1) Ankle sprains and fractures
All ankle injuries require an early and accurate diagnosis to prevent infection and permanent damage to the feet.
2) Head injuries
A fall on the hard ice can cause a concussion and brain injury because there is no cushion to protect the head against the impact
3) ACL tears and knee injuries
The anterior – crutiate – ligament known as the ACL is crucial to the knees ability to bear weight and our bodies ability to run, jump and pivot.
The combination of sharp skate blades, hard ice, and moving at high speeds put skaters at risk for deep cuts or tears in the skin.
5) Hand and wrist injuries
When we fall, our first instinct is to put our hands out to catch ourselves and protect our head and face. This reaction with the force of the impact can also cause serious injuries to your hands and wrists.
A few simple precautions such as a beginner skating lesson and equipment – like padding, helmets and good quality ice skates that fit you well - can greatly reduce your risk of these injuries.