Safety on the slopes – wear a helmet

Snow sports remain extremely popular winter pastimes and it is estimated that there are currently more than 200 million skiers and 70 million snowboarders in the world. Over recent years awareness of the benefits of wearing a helmet on the slopes has been increasing and new research has now demonstrated that the use of helmets reduces the risk of serious injury and saves lives.

The new research was carried out by the John-Hopkins University School of Medicine in the USA and published in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. The findings showed that the use of helmets by skiers and snowboarders decreases the risk and severity of head injuries and saves lives. This rebuts the long-held view that the use of helmets gives people a false sense of security that encourages them to behave dangerously.

Dr Adil Haider, Associate Professor of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the leader of the study said:

"There really is a great case to be made for wearing helmets. By increasing awareness and giving people scientific proof, we hope behaviour changes will follow."

Head injuries mostly occur when skiers or snowboarders hit inanimate objects such as trees or the ground and are often the chief cause of death. Over recent years many countries and ski areas have decided to promote and encourage the use of helmets on the slopes particularly for children.