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Helmets reduce the risk of head injuries among skiers and snowboarders by 35 percent

Date:
February 7, 2010
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
Helmets reduce the risk of head injury among skiers and snowboarders by 35 percent with no evidence of an increased risk of neck injury, a new study finds.

Helmets reduce the risk of head injury among skiers and snowboarders by 35% with no evidence of an increased risk of neck injury, according to an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Some suggest that helmets may increase the risk of neck injury in a crash or fall, particularly in children because of their greater head to body ratio.

Skiing and snowboarding are popular winter activities. Estimates from numerous countries indicate that head injuries account for up to 19% and neck injuries up to 4% of all injuries reported by ski patrols and emergency departments. Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and serious injury among skiers and snowboarders.

The study, an analysis of 12 studies conducted in Europe, Asia, and North America, found that helmet use in recreational activities is beneficial. However, the authors were unable to determine the design, quality, or fit of the helmets.

"The use of helmets significantly protects against head injuries among skiers and snowboarders," write Brent Hagel, Alberta Children's Hospital, and coauthors. "Risks of head injury can be reduced by 35%...and between 2 and 5 of every 10 head injuries among helmet users could be prevented."

"Based on this evidence, we encourage helmet use," conclude the authors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. Russell, J. Christie, B. E. Hagel. The effect of helmets on the risk of head and neck injuries among skiers and snowboarders: a meta-analysis. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2010; 182 (4): 333 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.091080

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Helmets reduce the risk of head injuries among skiers and snowboarders by 35 percent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201145426.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2010, February 7). Helmets reduce the risk of head injuries among skiers and snowboarders by 35 percent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201145426.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Helmets reduce the risk of head injuries among skiers and snowboarders by 35 percent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201145426.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

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