Ski Helmet Article in Washington Post
February 24, 2006
Here's an article in today's Washington Post on ski helmets.
Alpine Athletes Set A Heady Example
Thursday, February 23, 2006; Page A02
All the Olympic alpine skiers and snowboarders wear them, and according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, recreational skiers should be wearing helmets, too.
The study -- which surveyed more than 6,000 injured and uninjured skiers and snowboarders at eight Norwegian alpine resorts in the 2002 ski season -- found that skiers using a helmet had "a 60 percent reduction in the risk for head injuries" compared with those who did not use a helmet.
Wearing a helmet also reduced the chances of a potentially severe head injury by 57 percent, as well as the risk of neck injuries.
"Do as the Olympians do," said study co-author Roald Bahr of the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences in Oslo. "Wear a helmet, even if you're not an elite skier or snowboarder -- especially if you're not."
The researchers, from the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences and Martina Hansens Hospital in Baerum, Norway, studied 3,277 injured skiers and snowboarders and 2,992 uninjured ones during the time when most skiers use the main ski lift.
"Our analysis identified beginners, male sex, youth and snowboarders as groups with increased risk of head injuries but also showed that the protective effect of helmet use is consistent across groups," the authors wrote.
Head injuries from these winter sports, which rank as the top reason skiers and snowboarders enter the hospital, can be lethal. Eight percent of skiers and snowboarders who go to the hospital with head injuries die, the study found. Snowboarders are 53 percent more likely to suffer head injuries than alpine skiers.
-- Juliet Eilperin
"Do as the Olympians do,"
I just started using a helmet this year and it has saved me at least one good knot on the head/concussion.