Winning the Helmet Battle
Let’s face it. There are lots of battles vacationing parents won’t win and we certainly don’t want to spend our much-needed time together arguing with the kids. But when their safety is the issue, we can’t give up.
Take the fight that used to start in my house every year around this time and continue all winter. I’d urge my son Matt, an expert skier, to wear a ski helmet: He’d insists he didn’t need one.
But then I talked to some neurosurgeons. The bottom line is that helmets can reduce the risk of brain injury as much as 75%, they told me. If you get a brain injury with a helmet, it likely won’t be as severe.
According to Snowsports
Industries America, the trade association, helmet use continues each year.
Growing numbers of children’s ski schools now strongly recommend or require
their use in their programs. The National Ski Areas Association, with the help
of the National Ski Patrol, Professional Ski Instructors of America, American
Association of Snowboard Instructors and the National Safety Council, among
others, has gotten on the helmet bandwagon with a website (http://www.lidsonkids.org) to heighten parents’ awareness about helmet use and promote safety on
Far fewer children are badly injured skiing and snowboarding than riding bikes. But that’s no comfort if it’s your child and their injury could have been lessened or prevented.
The third week in January was designated as National Safety Awareness Week by the snowsports industry with events all over the country, highlighting how we can all ski and ride safer and remind our kids, whatever their ages and ability level:
--Stay in control!
--People ahead have the right of way.
--Always stop in a safe place
--When starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.
--Observe signs and warnings and keep off closed trails.
Safety lessons are just as important for those spending their time practicing tricks in the terrain parks. The Smart Style terrain park safety initiative stresses, among other things, “looking before you leap!”
Remind your gang that no matter how expert they think they may be, they shouldn’t go off piste without appropriate equipment and guides and even then should rely on weather forecasts and what the experts suggest. Check out the avalanche safety awareness program at www.alpinesafety.org Lifts are closed for a reason!.
It makes sense to play it safe on the slopes, just like you would in any sport or in a car. Wear a helmet—and insist your kids wear them too—just as you insist they sit in their safety seats or buckled in a seat belt in a car or a plane.
Besides, helmets will keep you
warmer. Kids’ models offer room to grow and are the perfect place to display
favorite ski-area stickers. Many retail for less than a day at ski school costs
at many resorts. You can also rent them at many ski resorts along with skis and
“You wouldn’t play football or hockey without a helmet,” one neurosurgeon once told me. “You can talk all you want about skier safety, “But you can’t prevent all accidents.”
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The views expressed on Snowmamas are those of the individual authors, who are independent contractors of Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain Resort and Killiington Resort and may not be factually accurate. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain Resort, Killington Resort, its owners, its management or its employees. Snowmamas' will receive compensation for their participation as an author.