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Recently I took my kids (8,6,4) skiing for our annual jaunt to the Western NY ski resorts. They love hitting the slopes ! My oldest is a speed demon while my younger two are tentative and cautious in their skiing. In either case, all children, and adults for that matter, are best advised to wear helmets while skiing or snow boarding to protect from head injury.

Skiers and snowboarders reduce their risk of head injury in half by wearing a helmet.

In 2002 more than 23,000 skiers and snowboarders suffered head injuries on the slopes.

Keep in mind, however, that helmets are not a substitute for controlled skiing and can also reduce hearing on the slope.

Helmets are designed to reduce the severity of head injuries, but they are most effective at providing protection from a direct blow to the head at speeds of 12 mph or slower.

It’s important that the user doesn’t think that he can take more risks because he’s wearing a helmet and therefore will be more protected.

Head injuries most frequently occur when skiers hit other skiers, trees or rocks on the slope, but some ski concussions result in just hitting hard snow or ice too hard. Skiers can avoid head injury on the slopes by taking some basic precautions. First, avoid skiing near trees or on hills with exposed rocks, second, take precautions when you choose to stop on the slopes so as to avoid other skiiers coming down the hill, and last, wear a helmet and preferably one that is certified to the ASTM F2040, Snell S-98 or Snell RS-98 Standards.

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