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Helmets must be part of skiing and snowboarding culture, doctors urge
Date:2/17/2010

Resorts have two reasons for promoting helmets one, it keeps their customers safer and two, they are also seeing a discount in their insurance premiums when the slopes are safer places," says Dr. Cusimano. "Role modeling can also have a powerful effect on what people sense as normal. Ski patrollers and instructors understand that helmets lessen the risk of traumatic brain injury and view themselves as role models for the public; however, most do not wear helmets regularly."

The authors recommend:

  • All ski and snowboard advertising images include people wearing helmets
  • Public Service Announcements featuring well-known athletes promoting healthy physical activity
  • Parents wearing helmets to promote the practice with their kids
  • Formal instruction aimed at ski resorts, schools and novice skiers offered through groups such as, Think First and the National Ski Areas Association, need to be included in any campaign to make the slopes safer.

"We are on the brink of changing the culture in skiing and snowboarding towards helmets," he says. "What we need is action by various stakeholders so wearing a helmet no longer becomes a fashion decision but rather common sense. We need action from national organizations, to ski resorts and schools, to parents and kids to make this culture shift. At that point, we will make real progress in reducing the number of head injuries on the slopes."


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Contact: Julie Saccone
sacconej@smh.toronto.on.ca
416-864-5047
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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