Every year, hundreds of thousands of youths and adults are injured in skiing and snowboarding accidents. While the majority of these are to the extremities (ankle sprains and fractured arms), about 14% of these are head injuries. The percentage of head injuries is higher among children under the age of 15 —about 22%. However, the overall injury rate in winter downhill slope activities has decreased in recent years.
According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) there were about 40 deaths per year as a result from downhill skiing/snowboarding accidents in the United States in the past decade. Of those fatalities, only eight people were reported to be wearing helmet. While the majority of injuries are beginner skiers and boarders, the NSAA reports that fatalities are more likely to occur in above-average skiers and snowboarders who are going at high rates of speed.
Helmets are required for competitive downhill winter sports and have become more of a common sight on the slopes. While there is very little potential risk associated with wearing a helmet, should an accident occur, protective head gear could significantly decrease the risk of serious injury. The NSAA estimates that 11 slope deaths are prevented each year from helmet use and several studies in Sweden show that the use of helmets has reduced head injuries by approximately 50%.
Come visit us at Wild Ernest Sports to be fitted for a new or rental helmet to protect you and your loved ones this winter season. We carry Salomon, Smith and POC helmets for sale and rent Giro helmets for only $5/day.