Last week Raul Pacheco invited a group of local bloggers to an event put on by the Community Against Preventable Injuries, aka The topic of the event was ski/ snowboard related injuries, and how they can be, well, prevented.

While I wasn’t personally able to attend the event, I still feel Preventable is delivering a very worthwhile message:

An international review that includes Canadian data found that 87.5 per cent of skiing and snowboarding deaths were caused by a head injury. More specifically, traumatic brain injury has been reported to account for 67 per cent of skier deaths in children. Research has shown that ski and snowboard helmets are effective at preventing head injuries. It is estimated that for every 10 people who wear a helmet, up to six may avoid head injuries.

While snowboarding in recent years, an increase in the number of children wearing helmets is something I have definitely noticed. But I never wore one growing up, still don’t, most of my friends don’t, and most adults in general don’t seem to wear helmets on the slopes. And I have to agree with the point Jen W. makes on her post about the event, that since I don’t ride aggressively, go out of bounds or hit the terrain parks why would I need to wear a helmet?

Well, it’s probably time to re-evaluate that line of thinking, and time we see a shift the culture of little helmet use on the hills.

With the death of actress Natasha Richardson earlier this year, which occurred on a bunny hill, helmet use on the slopes has become a very hot topic, and probably for good reason. Intrawest has now mandated helmets at ski resorts, including Whistler, for all children and youth participants in their Ski and Snowboard School programs, and in freestyle terrain park programs.

If simply wearing a helmet can prevent up to about 50% of the injuries that occur on the slopes, its hard to argue against those kind of numbers.

Beyond the topic of helmet use in winter sports, Preventable itself is a great organization and it is definitely worth checking out their website for many great articles on a broad range of topics. They also have a YouTube channel with interviews of local experts in different fields, a Facebook page, and you can follow them on Twitter.

And in the spirit of Christmas, I’ll end this post with Preventable’s latest video from their YouTube Chanel

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One Response

  1. VancityAllie Dec 22nd, 2009