Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Fitness & Exercise

Font Size

Helmet a 'Must' for Skier Safety

Study Shows Snowboarders and Skiers Reduce Head Injuries With Helmets
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Feb.1, 2010 -- Wearing helmets significantly reduces the risk of head injuries among skiers and snowboarders, a new study shows.

Reporting in the Feb. 1 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers say helmet use reduces the risk of such injuries by 35%. And contrary to widespread belief, helmets don't increase the risk of neck injury, especially in children, who have greater head-to-body ratios, the researchers say.

The researchers, who analyzed findings from 12 studies done in North America, Europe, and Asia, say it seems clear that helmet use in recreational activities is beneficial.

Kelly Russell MSc, and colleagues from the University of Calgary note that up to 19% of all injuries reported by ski patrol and emergency departments are due to head injuries and 4% are due to neck injuries.

Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death among skiers and snowboarders, the researchers say.

The researchers add, however, that they could not determine the best types of helmet design, as related to quality or fit, necessary to increase safety.

"The use of helmets significantly protects against head injuries among skiers and snowboarders," the researchers write. "Risks of head injury can be reduced by 35 percent."

They conclude that the use of helmets should be strongly encouraged. "Our pooled analysis of evidence suggests that helmets are effective in reducing the risk of head injury among skiers and snowboarders," the researchers conclude. "We found no significant association between helmet use and an increased risk of neck injury."

They add: "Based on our findings, we encourage the use of helmets among skiers and snowboarders."

In addition, they say, rigorous research is needed to determine which types of helmets offer the best protection against injury.

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

Wet feet on shower floor tile
Slideshow
Flat Abs
Slideshow
 
Build a Better Butt Slideshow
Slideshow
woman using ice pack
Quiz
 

man exercising
Article
7 most effective exercises
Interactive
 
Man looking at watch before workout
Slideshow
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

pilates instructor
Slideshow
jogger running among flowering plants
Video
 
Teen girl jogging
Article
Taylor Lautner
Article