Helmets: They're Not Just For Kids Anymore

Maggie
Posted by Maggie on December 28, 2011

momshelmet2 (momshelmet2)

You may have noticed kids have an uncanny knack for getting right to the bottom of an issue.  Have you ever been in line in the grocery store and one of your kids pipes up (loud enough for all to hear), "Mom, why is that lady's hair pink?"   Maybe you've been at a family reunion and the question was, "Dad, why does Aunt Matilda have that big lump on her face?"  My all-time favorite innocent kid question, of course is "Mom, Dad.... where do babies come from?"   Let me help you out and save you from this question: "Mom, Dad why do I have to wear a ski helmet when you don't?"

I remember exactly when I made my decision to start wearing a ski helmet.  We were in Park City on our annual Spring Break trip when the news broke that Natasha Richardson had passed away.  This talented Tony award winning actress had an impressive list of theater, film and television credits, but was best known to me for her role opposite Lindsey Lohan in "The Parent Trap".  The details of her ski accident weren't gory and she wasn't involved in a high speed crash.  She fell.  On the beginner slope.  It was described as a "normal fall" and afterwards she got up and was fine and walked away insisting she didn't need any medical attention.  Ultimately, she had bleeding in the outer layer of her brain and very quickly succumbed to her injury leaving behind a devastated husband, Liam Neeson, and their 2 sons.  Arguably the news reports proclaimed a helmet would have saved her life.   I looked at my husband and 3 sons and knew from that moment on I would always wear a ski helmet.

"Mom, Dad why do I have to wear a ski helmet when you don't?"

The most surprising thing about wearing a helmet for me is how comfortable it is. I truly expected it to be an adjustment for me but it wasn't. The added bonus that I found is that a helmet improves my temperature control.   Of course you remember that you lose most heat from your head and the helmet does an excellent job of retaining heat to keep the rest of your body warm too.  Now for those of you who are saying, “Yeah, but I’m hot- headed” - not to worry.  You can purchase helmets with vents that open and close to allow you to find the balance of hot and cold that is comfortable for you.

Ready to go shopping? Helmets are available from all your favorite brand names and have a variety of styles and colors.  You will have to make some decisions about your preferences for a vented helmet or solid and many helmets come with an audio system.  Most have a clip to secure your goggles.  It's important when you are looking for a ski helmet to try them on.  The fit should be snug, but not too tight that you get a headache.  Try to bring your goggles with you or if you are a spring skier like me - maybe you want to try your helmet on with sunglasses or a skullcap to check for comfort.  Many helmets come with pads that you can insert or remove to adjust to your perfect fit.

As of this writing, New Jersey is the only state with a law requiring ski helmets for minors. California’s legislature passed a similar bill in 2010 and again in 2011 however both Governors Arnold Swarzenegger and Jerry Brown vetoed these measures.  In Canada, Nova Scotia notably passed a law requiring all skiers and riders to wear a helmet on the slopes.  The debate on these helmet laws fall predictably on partisan sides, but a different argument is presented by the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA).  The ski resorts do not wish to be placed in the position of enforcing any helmet law and would prefer to leave enforcement to local police departments on the basis of logistical and legal issues.  Any helmet mandating bill that addresses enforcement by placing responsibility with local authorities and parents would be supported by the NSAA.

Regardless of law, the number of people wearing helmets on the slopes is growing at a rapid rate including the daredevil 18-24 year olds – up 139% since 2002. I hope you are convinced to present a good example for your kids, find a helmet that is comfortable for you and wear it consistently on the slopes.

 
 
 

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Comments

Comment posted by park2peak on August 14, 2012 3:09 PM MDT

Though I don't necessarily think there should be a law requiring helmets on the mountain, I do believe in setting a responsible example for your children. The fact is, skis are much more faster than they have ever and thus the crashes are more intense and damaging. I don't wear my helmet every time I'm on the mountain, especially if it's just getting a few runs in before work on my own. But when I'm with friends and pushing it, you better believe I've got my Giro on my head.

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Comment posted by Park2Peak on August 14, 2012 3:09 PM MDT

Though I don't necessarily think there should be a law requiring helmets on the mountain, I do believe in setting a responsible example for your children. The fact is, skis are much more faster than they have ever and thus the crashes are more intense and damaging. I don't wear my helmet every time I'm on the mountain, especially if it's just getting a few runs in before work on my own. But when I'm with friends and pushing it, you better believe I've got my Giro on my head.

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Comment posted by Adam on February 20, 2012 4:42 PM MST

I wear a helmet like I wear my seatbelt. It is just weird for me to not put it on. Having learned to snowboard I also use kneepads and wrist guards. The helmet liners make a big difference for me, preventing the helmet from rubbing the hair off the top of my neck. I have one with a fuzzy gaiter for the cold and thin one for the warm.
I do miss the fun hats so I have lots of velcro dots for my Spikos. These soft spikes come in a few colors and sizes and can be rearranged in many ways to show that I don't take myself too seriously. Kinda like my ex-Marine snowboard instructor, Bubbles. That's Intructor Bubbles, Sir!

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Comment posted by Eric Longabardi on December 29, 2011 2:06 PM MST

I don't wear one, never have and probably never will.

But I'm a old school "rock head". Neither does Stein Erickson and he was nearly killed when someone ran into him in recent years.

I understand the risk and think having the law/government be my kids parent for me is not the right approach. I do rec. them for kids, until the day they can make that decision for themselves. I bought my 8yr old daughter one at Costco (Bolle) like Kristen pointed out. I give a more detailed explanation on the Snowmama Facebook page. Wearing a helment for kids and adults is a good thing, but the decision to do so for an adult and kids, should be made by adults, not the govt. or laws of a "Nanny-State" imho.

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Comment posted by Kristen on December 28, 2011 6:23 PM MST

There is no reason not too. They are sooo comfortable! And can even be bought at Costco for a nominal cost. Always warm, always dry...and safe:) We won't go out without them!

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Comment posted by Kristy on December 28, 2011 5:55 PM MST

I wear a helmet not because of how I ski or ride, but because of how everyone else around me skis or rides

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Comment posted by Jeff Turbeville on December 28, 2011 5:52 PM MST

Great post! You can never reiterate enough how important it is to wear a helmet! Adults need to set the example for the kids... just sayin!

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Comment posted by Karin on December 28, 2011 5:51 PM MST

I started to wear a helmet when my daughter started snowboarding to be a good example. To be honest, I wasn't excited about it. It's the easiest way to protect yourself on the mountain. Don't forget to add your PCMR or Snowmamas sticker and make it a fashion statement!

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Comment posted by Kim-Marie Evans on December 28, 2011 5:36 PM MST

I have a friend who's ski instructor was hit by an oncoming (out of control) skier. Her helmet saved her life. No one should ski without one!

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