Ski and Ride Safety - Helmets

HELMETS - Questions & Answers

Q: Does NSAA promote the use of helmets?

A: Yes. Helmets may help reduce the incidence and severity of head injuries in the event of a blow to the head. The National Ski Areas Association promotes the use of helmets and encourages guests to educate themselves on the benefits and limitations of helmets. If you choose to wear a helmet, it is important to ski and ride as if you are not wearing one. Helmets should not be perceived as a panacea for slope safety. What’s most important is for you to follow the Your Responsibility Code, the safety rules of the slopes. Slope safety education and personal responsibility are key to long-term slope safety. Helmets should be viewed as a second line of defense. Skiing safely and in control is the first line of defense.

Q: If I fall or hit a tree while skiing, will a helmet protect me from getting hurt?

A: A helmet can make a difference in reducing or preventing injury and many skiers and snowboarders today are choosing to wear them. Helmets are designed to reduce the severity of head injuries, but they are most effective at providing protection at speeds of 12 mph or slower. If you hit a tree, object or another skier at moderate or high speed, a helmet may not prevent or reduce a serious injury.

Q: I see that many children enrolled in ski school are wearing helmets. Will my child be safer if she wears a helmet?

A: Whether or not your child is enrolled in ski school, a helmet can make a difference for your child in reducing or preventing injury from falls or other impacts. They are most effective at slower speeds. Be sure to have your child properly fitted for a helmet if you decide that he or she should wear one. And don't forget to teach your child to ski or snowboard responsibly.

Q: Are skiing and snowboarding as safe as they used to be? Few people used to wear a helmet. Is a helmet a key piece of safety equipment in this day and age?

A: Skiing and snowboarding have always had some risks, but they also have an excellent safety record. Your chances of being seriously injured or dying on the slopes is less than one in a million. Each skier or snowboarder's behavior has as much or more to do with the safety of the sports as does any piece of equipment. Following "Your Responsibility Code" is the key to promoting your and others' safety. If you choose to wear a helmet or use other types of equipment to protect yourself, be sure you understand the limits and proper use of that equipment. Don't let any safety equipment give you a false sense of security.

Q: I would feel safer wearing a helmet. What kind of helmet would you recommend?

A: A helmet designed for recreational snowsports. There are a variety of helmets available that conform to the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard F2040. It is important that any helmet be properly fitted and that it not uncomfortably restrict your vision or hearing. Read the helmet manufacturer's information and learn about what level of protection a particular helmet will provide. All models are not the same and do not provide the same level of protection.

Q: Where can I get more information about helmets?

A: Call or visit the Saddleback Ski Shop or visit a helmet manufacturer's website.

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