You probably would never consider riding a motorcycle or a bicycle without a helmet, but you may still be skiing without protective gear for your head. Over the past decade, the use of skiing helmets has risen dramatically. About 83 percent of skiers in the United States wear helmets—a sharp contrast from just seventeen years ago when the average amount of skiers wearing helmets was about 25 percent. The day is approaching when wearing a ski helmet will be as embraced as buckling your seatbelt when you get into a car.
Protecting Against Head Injuries
Researchers have conducted tests to determine which ski helmets provide the best head protection. The tests measured shock absorption and oblique impacts. Computer simulations then evaluated injury risk. Of course, any helmet you choose should be designed for and successful at preventing concussions. Many helmets are effective in reducing head injuries such as skull fractures and concussions. Doing your research before buying a helmet will help you determine which one best suits your skiing style and offers you the best protection from injuries.
The Right Fit
An ill-fitting ski or snowboard helmet is dangerous and defeats its intended purpose. Before you hit the slopes, put aside the desire to be stylish and make sure your headgear is the right size for you. The helmet should fit snugly but not be too tight. Put the helmet on and move your head from side to side. The helmet should not shift on your head. If it does, try a smaller size. Also, make sure there is no gap between the edge of the helmet and the top of your goggles. Additionally, the helmet should not be pushing down on your goggles or impairing your vision.
Proper head protection is just one aspect of skiing and boarding safety. Be that prudent skier who is always in control. Do not ski above your physical ability. Obey the rules of the resort or mountain where you are skiing. The rules are mainly developed to protect you and other skiers. In addition to a well-fitting helmet, make sure all your gear is appropriate for you and that you are comfortable using it.
Enjoy your time on the slopes and be sure to take care of your safety. Make sure you wear a properly designed and fitting helmet to protect your head. Obey the safety rules of your ski location and ski defensively to protect yourself and other skiers and boarders.
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