Ski and Snowboard Safety
Quick tips to ski and snowboard safely!
• Use properly adjusted equipment: ski bindings should be adjusted regularly by a professional.
• Always remain in control of your speed and direction.
• Use and respect the Mountain Code of Conduct and Alpine Responsibility Code.
• Snow park users: choose a terrain that matches your ability. Respect your limits!
Why wear a helmet?
The Canadian Ski Council recommends wearing helmets for skiing and riding. Skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to educate themselves on the benefits and limitations of helmet usage. The primary safety consideration, and obligation under the Alpine Responsibility Code, is to ski and ride in a controlled and responsible manner.
Dr. Rob’s Top Ten Tips for Using and Wearing Helmets
When Skiing and Snowboarding by Robert Williams, MD
Robert Williams, MD, is a pediatric anesthesiologist and associate director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Vermont Children’s Hospital and associate professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He is also an avid skier and snowboarder and serves as a medical associate for the Smugglers’ Notch Ski Patrol.
All skiers and snowboarders should ride responsibly and in control at all times. Helmets may help prevent head injuries in the event of certain types of accidents, but are of little help in high-speed, head-on injuries and offer no protection against neck and other types of injuries.
Bike helmets are designed with different impact characteristics and different areas of protection than ski and snowboard helmets and should never be worn as a substitute for a ski and snowboard helmet. In addition to appropriate safety design, ski and snowboard helmets offer advantages, such as warmth and an integrated fit with goggles.
Ski and Snowboard helmets are not something to grow into. The helmet must fit properly to function safely. In addition, a helmet that is an uncomfortable fit will end up not being worn. Consult a knowledgeable salesperson at a reputable store regarding appropriate fit for a helmet and to get any questions answered.
There are various helmet standards in place including CEN (the least rigorous standard), ASTM and Snell (far and away the most rigorous and hard to meet standard for certification). Be sure to review product literature for the helmet to find out which standard the helmet meets.
Children pick up on hypocrisy at light speed. If parents expect their children to ski and ride responsibly and wear helmets, then they should do so as well. Any adult who wears a helmet will help encourage children to follow suit.
If a parent decides that helmets should be worn, but the child is resistant, remember that it’s O.K. to say no. Establish a rule, such as “No helmet equals no skiing or snowboarding.” Most ski teams and academies have rules requiring helmet use in their athletes and the athletes accept these rules as a matter of course. Your child will adhere to this rule as well if it is presented in a polite, yet non-compromising manner.
Different goggles and helmets work together differently. A well-fitting system will provide great protection for the face and forehead from cold wind and snow and still allow adequate ventilation for the goggles.
It is much harder to lose both a helmet and a set of goggles. Some parents may find they recoup the cost of the helmet by not having to replace lost goggles (and hats!) as often.
Parents should allow the young skier/rider some liberty to add a personal touch to their helmets. Consider spending a few extra dollars and letting the child choose some cool stickers for the helmet at the time of purchase. This is sure to encourage helmet wearing.
A number of professional skiers and snowboarders wear helmets and can serve as great role models. Help reinforce helmet wearing with such incentives as posters of winter sport celebrities who wear helmets, or gear worn by these celebrities.
For more information on helmet safety check out myhelmet.ca
Content Courtesy of Myhelmet.ca and the Canadian Ski Council