If you’ve read The Brave Ski Mom for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that our entire family wears helmets: ski helmets, bike helmets, hockey helmets, lacrosse helmets and helmets when skateboarding. If we climbed, we’d wear helmets then, too. We LOVE helmets.
It wasn’t always this way. My husband and I didn’t wear ski helmets until we had children. But once we helmeted up, we’ve never looked back. I am so used to my helmet that I feel naked without it (I feel this way about my bike helmet and seatbelts, too). I hope, and pray, my kids feel this way, too.
Before we go on, if a child in your life needs a new ski or snowboarding helmet, scroll down to the bottom of this post and leave a comment to win a Junior Helmet from Giro and Ski N’ See ski shops!
Some Questions and Answers About Ski Helmets
Do Ski Helmets Help Prevent Head Injury?
Yes. Research conducted over the past 20 years shows that children under age 15 are more likely to suffer a head injury while skiing or snowboarding than any other age group. For kids in this group, a helmet can can prevent or reduce the severity of the injury by 53%. The same studies, cited by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, show a 44% prevention and reduction in injury amongst adults.
Similar results came from Swedish study that predicted a 50% reduction in head injuries sustained while skiing and riding with helmet use. (Source: MomsTeam)
Do Ski Helmets Prevent Concussions?
No. According to The Concussion Blog, ski helmets do a good job of preventing skull fractures, but they do not prevent concussions.
One statistic that I’ve heard, but have been unable to find anywhere, is that a helmet will help prevent a concussion resulting from impacts up to 13 mph. Over 13 mph, a concussion can still occur.
13 mph is not a super-fast speed. Still, I like having something between our heads and the ground and good, solid, well-made ski helmets are the something I choose.
Also, if you, or your child, do sustain a concussion, take Lindsey Vonn’s lead and don’t ski until you are cleared by your doctor.
Football and hockey. Yes, football and hockey cause the most concussions among young athletes engaged in team sports. But before you get complacent, snow skiing, bicycling and playgrounds account for the most concussions from individual activities. Interestingly, about one-half of concussions in children ages 8-19 are sports related, with 40% of these concussions occurring in kids ages 8-13.
Girls are also more likely to sustain concussions than boys. According to pediatric sports injury specialist Mark E. Halstead, MD, of Children’s Hospital St. Louis, ”In my experience, girls also tend to be more aggressive in their sports than guys.” (Source: WebMD) You go, girls! But, when appropriate, wear a helmet.
Can Helmets Hurt a Child’s Spine or Neck?
No. Kids have a greater head to body weight ratio, which has raised questions about whether or not a helmet can be harmful to young spines, especially to the cervical vertebrae.
According to another article at MomsTeam, research shows no evidence of an increased risk of spine or neck injury from ski helmets. Your child will not become a bobble-head.
Do Helmets Reduce a Child’s Ability to See or Hear?
No. The article referenced above also puts to rest any concern about children having impaired hearing, or a reduced field of vision, from ski helmets. While ski goggles have been shown to lengthen visual reaction time slightly, helmets alone, do not.
Who Wears Helmets?
Smart, Skilled Skiers and Riders. Here’s a fun fact to have on hand if you have a child who resists wearing a ski helmet. A study by the British Medical Journal found that “more skilled skiers and snowboarders” are likely to wear helmets than their less skilled counterparts.
Clearly, if you want to show your stease, a helmet is a necessary accessory.
How Can We Prevent Head Injuries from Snowsports?
Avoid Accidents. The best way to prevent a head injury from skiing or snowboarding is to avoid accidents. Hitting the ground is the leading cause of snowsports-related injury (74% as compared to 10-13% from hitting trees, people or other stationary objects).
Here are some common-sense tips for avoiding all injuries on snow.
Choose the right equipment. Make sure that your boots and bindings fit and work properly.
- Learn to ski or snowboard correctly. Take lessons. Don’t ski or snowboard beyond your ability.
- Know The Code. Always ski or snowboard in control and don’t take unnecessary risks.
- Never ski or snowboard alone.
- Wear a helmet.
For more information on helmets and safety, including tips for fitting kids’ helmets and interactive games for kids, please visit LidsOnKids.org.
Ski N’ See Junior Helmet Giveaway
For the third year running, Utah’s Ski N’ See ski shops are sponsoring a Junior Helmet Giveaway for readers of Brave Ski Mom! Ski N’ See is committed to fun and safety for all skiers and snowboarders and are proud to promote helmet use.
This year, one winner will have their choice of a Junior Boys or Junior Girls Slingshot Helmet from Giro. To enter, simply leave a comment below. To double your chances, “like” Ski N’ See on Facebook and let me know that you did. One winner will be chosen by random drawing on Thursday, November 1 at 8:00 a.m. MDT.
- Of Course, You Should Put A Lid On Your Kid, November 18, 2010. (Helmet fitting tips)
- Ski Helmets: Should Kids Have a Choice? October 17, 2011.
Thank you so much to Ski N’ See for sponsoring this Junior Helmet Giveaway. Ski N’ See is our go-to ski shop in Utah for demo skis, discount lift tickets for many Utah resorts and a great selection of gear. You can find their online store at Utahskis.com.
As always, all opinions are my own and are exactly what I would tell my family and friends.
This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Richard!
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