Ski Helmets for Kids? Really? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to take DD(3.5)skiing for the first time this year and was look at some lift ticket and resort info when I stumbled across something touting the necessities of ski/snow helmets for children.

 

I never even considered this to be needed.  I've skied since I was DD's age and we never had helmets.  And the last time I went skiing, I was pregnant with DD and still don't recall any kids with helmets.

 

I'm not opposed to a helmet but I'd love to hear some personal stories, read some links, get some info, etc.

 

Because right now, I feel like it's a bit overprotective.


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#2 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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I'm all for helmets.  I grew up skiing every weekend and wore no protective gear at all.  But now, my kid (and my dh too) wear helmets. 

 

Our story - we went tubing last winter.  Just a basic hill, they had a tow rope, very safe, etc.  We had our boys wear helmets, ds2 (3 at the time) rode with me so unless we fell out he was pretty safe.  DS1 (7 at the time) rode his own tube.  Along one side of the hill were some trees and for some reason, they had a metal fence post next to them.  Somehow ds1 hit the metal post with his helmet and gashed it all up.  I can't even imagine what that would have done to his little head.  And he wasn't even going very fast.

 

I guess I've heard too many storied about skiiers and boarders with head injuries to risk it.  They make helmets specifically for this and my kid's gonna be safe.  I do tend to be overprotective, but my kids are also doing some pretty extreme sports and hobbies and in order for me to be ok with them doing these things, they must be protected.

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#3 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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I've heard of resorts where helmets are mandatory for everyone. I know in all the ski programs here locally, (I'm in Colorado) children must wear helmets. They have been coming on for about 10ish years now. I haven't been on the slopes much since then and I don't remember anyone wearing them then and now must people I see have them on. Helmets are mandatory for my family. DD1 and DH are avid boarders and they always wear them, DD2 has been up a couple times this and wears one. 

 

A couple of personal stories from an active skiing/boarding family. A tourist last X-Mas day year went sledding with her children near here, did not wear a helmet, ended up hitting a pole, died of head injuries upon impact. Who knows if a helmet would of saved her but she might of had a chance. My sister in high school before helmets fell while boarding ended up slashing her scalp open, it took over 20 stiches to close, a helmet would of prevented that. My dad fell a couple of years ago during early season conditions and actually cracked his helmet open on a rock, he was ok. His best friend fell last year skiing and ended up with stitches in his head as well, he was not wearing a helmet. Needless to say, helmets are a must IMO. 

 

 

Safety has continued over the years and with the number of skiing deaths that due occur with collusions between other skiers and trees, helmets improve safety conditions. I have no links saved to back it up right now, and my children are screaming for me to make cookies with them but I bet a quick google search might bring something up. It is also like skateboarding and ice skating, years ago no one wore helmets, now days many do. No one used to use seat belts or car seats either. winky.gifSame thing, a skate boarder fell a couple years here in town, no helmet, died on impact, they said a helmet probably would of saved his life. 


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#4 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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My brother fractured his skull snow boarding as a teenager and was in a coma for 3 weeks with years of recovery. He still, in his twenties, snowboards as much as he can (mainly in Colorado as well, him and his buddies bought a condo in Steamboat together to share). He says they all wear helmets as do most of the snowboarders, many skiiers, and all the kids on the mountain.

 

I also have a friend who's 3 yr old DD fractured her skull, nose, and jaw hitting a tree when she was tubing and she *did* have a helmet on.

 

Snow sports are really dangerous, I think helmets are responsible, not overprotective.  

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#5 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 03:37 PM
 
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http://www.ski-injury.com/specific-injuries/head

 

http://www.nsaa.org/nsaa/press/0506/facts-about-skiing-and-snowboarding.asp

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61020R20100201

 

 

I am not a skier but I do know with recent deaths more people are using helmets and more aware of potential head injuries.  I cannot ski because I am allergic to the cold but with what basic research I have done, I would not rush to put on on my kids to ski.  

 

Now snowboarding, I would because I feel the risk taking is more like that of skateboarding. 

 

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#6 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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I'm in CO (and I grew up in UT) as well and I would never allow my family on the slopes without head protection on. Skiing is dangerous!! I think Co alone had 12 deaths last year from skiing...

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#7 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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I ski with a helmet.  I was on the ski team in college and it was required, and I got in the habit.  My kids don't ski yet, but when they do, they will be wearing helmets.


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#8 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just want to reiterate that I do NOT have a problem with helmets.  At all.  I'm very safety conscious. orngbiggrin.gif

 

I was just a bit surprise as I've been out of the winter sports loop for several years.

 

Thanks for all the stories and links.

 

Turns out there's a proposed bill in our state(CA)to make helmets mandatory for children under 18.  Awesome.


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#9 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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DH and I went skiing just this afternoon and most of the younger kids and teenagers there had helmets on. And after almost getting wiped out by some yahoo first-timer hurtling down the hill out of control this afternoon, I will be wearing one the next time we go out. If that yahoo would've hit me, we both would've been seriously injured. When we take the kids, helmets will be mandatory for them.


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#10 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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I'm a paramedic, and I worked at a very popular ski resort town for three years.  I can't tell you how many children and adults we collected off the mountain who were either concussed, brain injured, suffering from severe defecits, or dead from not having worn a helmet.  It's a total no-brainer, excuse the pun.  Many, many young vibrant lives lost or changed for the worse and more painful forever beacause of not wearing a brain bowl. 


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#11 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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I think with the increase in high profile skiing deaths (Sonny Bono, one of the Kennedys and Natasha Richardson) + lighter/tougher materials + more people on the slopes = more people in helmets. We are also in CO and although I don't ski my kids do (or board depending on the kid) due to the kids ski free in 5th grade program and they all wear helmets.
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#12 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 04:36 PM
 
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When DS started snowboarding a few years ago, we bought him a helmet, just like we did when he started cycling and playing hockey. We bought DD a riding helmet when she first started horse riding, a hockey helmet when she first played hockey etc. We have a shelf full of protective headgear.  I consider it money well spent and don't think twice about it. 

 

I don't think I'm overprotective. DS started walking to school by himself when he was 7 y.o., he's been using public transit on his own since he was 11 or 12 y.o., he's been using knives, cooking, lighting campfires and participating in "risky" activities from a young age. The difference is that with these kinds of activities, we can minimize the risks by teaching him proper technique, reinforce safety procedures, supervise and intervene when and if necessary, and ensure he's ready for independence. In sporting activities, where collisions and falls are likely and you have no control over conditions (other players or participants, the weather, the terrain etc.), there is very little you can do to minimize the risks. The best you can do is to prepare for potential problems by using adequate protective gear. 

 

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#13 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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My dh went snowboarding one time. He ended up sliding down a hill first on his stomach, then on his head (confirmed by witnesses) then on his back. One rock and it would've been over. My kid'll be wearing helmets if they want to go down a slippery slope standing up. I am willing to let relatively tame hills be sledded without helmets because sledding is so much closer to the ground and it's easier to control a fall to stop, but anyone starts doing jumps or other craziness, and we're going home to get helmets.

 

And 2-year old dd already knows she has to wear "panda hat" (her helmet is soooo cute!) if she wants to use her scooter.

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#14 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 07:22 PM
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We always have our kids wear helmets when skiing, sledding, and ice skating (and when bike riding, of course.)


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#15 of 30 Old 12-28-2010, 11:28 PM
 
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I'm on ski patrol (volunteer) at a small mountain.    If there is any way I can avoid it, I will never ever ski or board sans helmet.   I might trust my own abilities but that doesn't mean I trust the abilities of the skiers around me.   I just figure a brain - and especially a growing child's brain - is too important not to protect it.       I worked an incident last winter where a skier ended up with a 6 inch crack down his helmet.   Better a crack in the helmet than a crack in the skull.   (He still had a major concussion - I shudder to think what that concussion would have been if there were no helmet).   Many resorts now rent helmets for a nominal fee if you are a casual skier/boarder and don't want to invest in one.  


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#16 of 30 Old 12-29-2010, 01:23 AM
 
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I have a good friend who worked at a camp one winter. The had a group of 7 year olds come in with their parents for a day of tubing and sledding down their hill. One of the boys hit a tree head first.. My friend had to do CPR until the ambulance arrived, he brought him back a few times, but the boy died on the way to the hospital. It was absolutely devastating for my friend, and I imagine for the children and other parents who witnessed their friend die. I heard the boys parents have since started to work on promoting helmet usage for winter sports.

For myself, I'm not a great skier. We had a small hill in town, I've been on it a few times. My first time down the big hill(after numerous practice runs on the bunny hill), I realized I couldn't stop before hitting the lodge, so I fell over, thinking that would stop me. I went spinning off in a cloud of snow, until my skis hit a utility pole. I remember looking up at it and realizing how lucky I was that I hit that pole with my feet and not my head!
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#17 of 30 Old 12-29-2010, 06:54 AM
 
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Here in italy bicycle helmets are not obligatory for anyone (DS wears one, I don't), but ski helmets are mandatory for everyone throughout the country.

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#18 of 30 Old 12-29-2010, 07:11 AM
 
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It's not overprotective.  You have one head, can't be replaced, so it makes sense to protect it.   Even minor head injuries can have long lasting impact.

 

I think if you hit the slopes now you would find it rare for a child to be without a ski helmet-either skiing or boarding.   Ski programs require them for kids, as do most school programs.  There are some really nice helmets out there, but make sure to get a helmet certified for skiing.  There is one that is more "hardhat" than helmet, which we discovered.  A nice bonus is that my kid's helmets end up keeping their heads pretty warm.  

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#19 of 30 Old 12-29-2010, 08:20 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by gealach View Post

I might trust my own abilities but that doesn't mean I trust the abilities of the skiers around me.   

 

Excellent point and very similar to what I tell my hubby about my strict carseat usage.

 

I skied when I was younger and didn't wear a helmet. Not many people wore them then so it does seem a tad odd to me but "better safe than sorry".


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#20 of 30 Old 12-29-2010, 09:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gealach View Post

I'm on ski patrol (volunteer) at a small mountain.    If there is any way I can avoid it, I will never ever ski or board sans helmet.   I might trust my own abilities but that doesn't mean I trust the abilities of the skiers around me.   I just figure a brain - and especially a growing child's brain - is too important not to protect it.       I worked an incident last winter where a skier ended up with a 6 inch crack down his helmet.   Better a crack in the helmet than a crack in the skull.   (He still had a major concussion - I shudder to think what that concussion would have been if there were no helmet).   Many resorts now rent helmets for a nominal fee if you are a casual skier/boarder and don't want to invest in one.  


 

So true. 

 

We come from a skiing family and I personally know two people who nearly died of head injuries when they were plowed down by out of control, inexperienced skiers.  One was extremely lucky that his wife forced him to go to the ER on their way to dinner. (it happened right after the Natasha Richardson accident)   He insisted nothing was wrong, just a bump on the head, but he was bleeding out into his brain and certainly would have died.  The other was a woman that sadly was criticially injuried and was immediately flown to a trama center so there was no question about immediate treatment of her head injury.  She survived and is fine today.

 

My mom works at a resort and she says every weekend their are head injuries (as well as other body parts)  She is the first to say it never would have crossed her mind to put a helmet on me as a child but there is no way she would ever let DS on the slopes without one.  (DS learned to ski with her) 


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#21 of 30 Old 12-29-2010, 10:02 AM
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you know i never really thought about it until this year, but having talked to a pediatrician friend of mine.. she's told me horror stories. my kid doesn't ski but we do take her tobogganing and i remember going down that same hill and getting quite the bonk when we hit a bump and careened into the path of another sled. we never used helmets, it just wasn't done in those days.. same goes for biking. now i wouldn't dream of letting my kid ride a bike without a helmet, so it really only makes sense that she wear a helmet for other winter sports. i don't have a ski helmet but i did get her a hockey helmet.


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#22 of 30 Old 12-29-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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Both of my kids wear helmets when they are skiing and we are surprised to see a child on the mountain without one.

 

It is not just a matter of their skill (as others have mentioned) but they are so *small* compared to a lot of the other people out there.  If they even get hit slightly they will go flying.


 

 

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#23 of 30 Old 12-30-2010, 11:15 AM
 
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OP, thank you so much for posting this and raising the awareness.  I too have been out of the loop of winter sports, and never even thought about it. Of course I remember the high profile skiing deaths in the news, and it makes complete sense not that I think about it.

 

So where do I buy one? Recommendations?  Links to online vendors?  Chain stores that might be near me? (i.e.  would Dick's Sporting Goods be good?)  Suggestions of what to look for?  Even better, a specific helmet that you like?

 

One of the PPs mentioned in passing that they are warm?  That was going to be my first question.  How to keep the head warm while wearing helmet with/without warm hat?

 

We don't ski or snowboard, but here in Michigan, we love occasionally sledding.  Do you think a helmet would be a good idea?  How about the iced toboggan run that I am currently too chicken to go on?

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#24 of 30 Old 12-30-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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My kids use helmets for sledding, if it's more than the 2 foot mounds they make in my yard.  We have a small local sporting goods store here that sells them, but any place that carries skis, snowboards, etc will have them.  I would assume you wouldn't have much trouble finding a store that carries them in Michigan. :)

 

They do keep heads warm, somewhat.  Dh complained the last time they went that he was getting cold and there are those really thin hat type of things you can wear underneath (sorry, I'm totally blanking on what they're called) and they should sell them at the same place.  I don't know that one brand is better than any other, my kid's is a Red though.  Just make sure you take the kids with you so you get the right size. 

 

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#25 of 30 Old 12-30-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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I grew up horseback riding, never wore a helmet unless I was jumping.  At 25 or something, my horse saw a deer in the woods and started bucking.  I sat on the first 6 bucks, the 7th I slid sideways, the 8th I hit a tree.  It took me 6 months to fully recover.

 

We wear helmets riding, snowmobiling, motorcycling, bicycling, and definitely skiing.


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#26 of 30 Old 01-02-2011, 03:07 PM
 
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Oh yes, my kids wear helmets for winter sports. My two oldest also snowboard, and they wear back protectors as well. Everyone I know who snowboard does.

The kids have thin wool hats that they have under the helmets.

Living on the ice berg, it's too cold to not have hats on, but the thin wool ones we have are no problem.


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#27 of 30 Old 01-06-2011, 10:34 PM
 
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Ds didnt wear one last year when he was just starting out,  but this year he is skiing on green runs (intermediate) and the easier black runs (advanced) so people ski really fast, b/c he is only 3 and 25lbs he is tiny, he is easier to see with a helmet on and I feel its nessisary in case someone crashes into him (happened once already).  He has fallen a couple times jumping off stuff and slid a ways once, so Im really glad he has it. 

 

I had a helmet on and still got a minor concussion snowboarding (I am not very coordinated), and they said it would have been much much worse had I not had one on.  And that was falling going pretty slow on a flat area.  I chipped the bones in my wrist really bad and got a blood clot b/c of it, so even a minor fall can cause damage. 

 

I even had him wear it for sledding, most kids had them too.  When I was maybe 10 I went sledding on that hill and hit a car at the bottom (they park along the highway there), and there are a couple trees so I thought it was a good idea! 

 

He wears a "buff" under it which is a thin but really warm tube shaped thing that you can make into a hat or a hat/neck guard or use as a scarf, its a cool thing and works well without messing up the helmet fit.  He was plenty warm in 14 degree weather even when we got caught in a blizzard and I probably wouldnt be taking him skiing if it were much colder. 

 

EVERY kid in ski school has to have a helmet, and some resorts anyone under 18 has to have one.  at least 1/2 of all the adults seem to have one (I dont, but I plan on getting one), and all but a few kids had them.    A 4-5yrs ago I was a ski instructor and only a couple kids had helmets and no adults did, only ski team kids really wore them.     When I learned to ski (age 3) no one had helmets.  I also didnt have a carseat (and I'm 25, so there were carseats around when I was little!), but things change, and I'd rather be safe than sorry. 

 

Plus ds thinks his helmet makes him look cool. 

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#28 of 30 Old 01-08-2011, 02:58 PM
 
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I worked one ski patrol shift yesterday, for only about 4 hours, at a tiny hill, on a not-busy day, and ended up treating two probable concussions.   Wear a helmet.   Just always wear a helmet.    


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#29 of 30 Old 01-08-2011, 03:30 PM
 
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I never wore a bike helmet when I was a child. Nor did I sit in a car seat. But my kids sure as heck sit in car seats, wear bike helmets, and wear ski helmets when the ski or snowboard. Times change, we get more aware of dangers, and safety gear becomes more easily available and more commonly worn. We also wear our helmets for ice skating, which was unheard of when I was a kid.

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#30 of 30 Old 01-08-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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Levi skiing with his helmet on:

http://s169.photobucket.com/albums/u218/leighi123/baby/December%202010/?action=view&current=MOV05778.mp4

 

DSC05650.jpg

DSC05626.jpg

 

Covered in snow after a fall in the first pic, that could have been his head!

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