How Do Helmets Protect Against Head Injuries During Winter Sports?

For ordinary people and athletes, winter is a time for fun and excitement. As the holiday season approaches, the cold season becomes the best time to do some winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. However, experts strongly recommend sports enthusiasts to wear helmets whenever they go skiing or snowboarding to protect their head against concussions and other injuries.

Why Do We Need To Use Helmets?

Wearing a padded headgear, such as a helmet, during a snow- or ice-related activity can help reduce head impact hazards and risks of injury. In the past decades, there is a much greater attention given to the need of using helmet when performing winter sports, because of the increasing number of ski-related head injuries, which become more fatal when athletes do not wear helmets.

On a more recent study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2010, the researchers found that snowboarders and skiers are less likely to receive a head and neck injury when they use helmets. Also, emphasis on helmet use has been given significant importance by the International Ski Federation, who stated that helmets are compulsory for all winter athletes participating in crash events and those courses that have harsh environmental conditions, such as alpine skiing and extreme snowboarding.

Helmets Are Not Just Worn; They Need To Fit The Wearer And Be Regularly Maintained

Whenever the issue of using helmet for almost any type of sports and extra-curricular activity is raised, the question of using valid helmet becomes another important topic to deal with. Basically, helmets can achieve its protecting capacity once it adheres to certain manufacturing standards. Also, the quality and nature of the material used for manufacturing helmets can help increase the protection of wearers from head trauma or injury. Thus, regular maintenance and proper fitting of helmet should be checked prior to wearing it.

Properly fitted helmets, especially for children, means that they will not become a problem while being used – oversized or loose helmets should never be worn, because this could impede the vision of the wearer or become a distraction during the actual skiing or snowboarding activity, further increasing the likelihood of accidents. Finally, regular maintenance or check-up of helmets for any cracks or loose straps should be checked; once it becomes too small for the wearer to use, it should be replaced to ensure that its protective capacity is not reduced.

What To Do When Someone Does Have a Head Injury?

To learn how to recognize and manage head injuries in a safe and effective way enrol in a first aid and CPR course with a recognized provider near you. Basic one and two-day courses are available that cover topics such as head injuries, facial injuries and spinals.

Related Video On The Importance Of Helmets During Winter Sports

[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TuksIVsHlk” width=”220″]

Sources:

McRory, P. (2002). “The role of helmets in skiing and snowboarding.” Br J Sports Med. 26: 314. Retrieved online on May 17, 2013 from http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/36/5/315.full.pdf

Russell, K & Hagel, C. (2010). “The effect of helmets on the risk of head and neck injuries among skiers and snowboarders: a meta-analysis.” CMAJ. 182: 333–340. Retrieved online on May 17, 2013 from http://www.eidonllc.com/Sports_helmets_now_and_in_the_future.pdf

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