The winter sports season is underway but before you head out to ski and snowboard don't forget your helmet and wrist guards.
"They're very important because we treat broken wrists and the majority of the time these injuries are very preventable," said Nurse Candy Watzek, a skiing instructor and like several other Avera McKennan hospital employees, a Ski Patrol member at Great Bear Recreation Park.
"We put in a lot of hours so we can be out here and keep your kids safe," she said.
Safety means making sure the slopes fit the ability and experience of the skier or snowboarder. Sometimes kids see their friends trying new tricks and they want to copy them even if they're not ready says snowboarding instructor Logan Watzek
"I tell them to step their way up to that," he said."Just practice..Then gradually move up. You just can't try new stuff without getting hurt."
In the past decade about 37 people a year have died skiing or snowboarding in the United States, according to the National Ski Areas Association.
During the 2006-07 season, 22 people died skiing or snowboarding and 40 suffered serious injuries resulting in lifelong disabilities.