Helmets are required for children in Italy and various Austrian states, for adults in the US state of New Jersey and at Vail Ski Resort in the US, and for everyone in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia and in select other regions such as terrain parks. The law in Austria is similar to that in New Jersey; however, unlike in New Jersey where only helmet-wearers are fined, in Austria anyone who fails to wear a helmet may be fined.
In Canada, all skiers are required by law to wear a helmet. The same requirement applies in most U.S. states that have adopted helmet laws. In Europe, however, many people believe that they do not need to wear a helmet because there are no fatalities associated with skiing. In fact, according to some studies, up to 75% of Europeans who die while on the slopes don't wear a helmet.
The reason why so many Europeans aren't wearing helmets is that they think it's only necessary to wear one if you fall down or hit your head while skiing. However, research has shown that even watching others ski can improve one's own skills. For this reason, experts recommend that everyone who goes skiing should wear a helmet.
The use of helmets has been linked to the reduction of injuries caused by skiing.
Though North American ski resorts do not compel the use of helmets, most provide free or low-cost rentals, and helmets are frequently required for youngsters in ski schools, according to Troy Hawks of the National Ski Areas Association.
Helmets are also recommended by many doctors for protection against head injuries that may occur when skiing and snowboarding. The benefits of wearing a helmet include preventing serious injuries to the brain and skull, reducing the risk of death in skiing/snowboarding accidents and making collisions with other objects less likely to cause severe head trauma.
However, not all experts agree that skiing/snowboarding helmets provide much protection against serious injury or can reduce your chances of dying in a crash. Some studies have shown that even though helmets may prevent some fractures, they don't appear to protect against other injuries such as internal bleeding. Also, some research has shown that people who wear helmets while skiing/snowboarding may take risks that they otherwise would have avoided.
The decision on whether to wear a helmet when you go skiing/snowboarding is up to you. If you choose not to wear one, that's fine too. However, if you're thinking about going out without a helmet, we recommend that you consider the risks vs. rewards of doing so.
Helmets aren't required at most adult ski resorts however, so it's up to each adult skier whether they wish to wear one or not. At the same time, most ski resorts aggressively urge the usage of helmets. However, at many ski resorts, youngsters are required to wear ski helmets.
In fact, according to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), nearly 80 percent of all reported skiing injuries occur among people age 15 and older. Of these injured adults, about two-thirds were not wearing a helmet. For young people in particular, this shows how important it is for them to wear protective headwear when skiing or snowboarding. The NSAA also reports that children under 15 years old make up approximately 20 percent of visitors to ski areas, but they account for more than half of all injury reports filed with resort security staff. Children lack the body strength necessary to control their movements well enough to avoid injury while skiing. Also, their brains are still developing, which makes them more prone to serious injury from falls.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that children under 18 years old should not be allowed to ride down hill on their own. This is because they are not strong enough to properly control their actions in case of a fall. Instead, they should always be allowed to be ridden down by an able-bodied person.
Helmets have been required at all Quebec snow parks since 2007. They are not mandatory at Canadian parks, but most operators there also require them.
Canada's national park system, which includes both Canadian and American parks, is a collection of more than 720 protected areas that welcome millions of visitors each year. Most national parks operate under their own management teams who make decisions about access, facilities, and activities within the parks. Some national parks may allow some types of motorized vehicles on designated roads, while others prohibit any type of motorized vehicle from being driven on their trails.
In Canada, many people enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, and other active pursuits in our national parks. It is important to remember that the nature of these parks is often remote, so please be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
The best way to protect yourself in the park is by using caution and keeping an eye out for warning signs. Pay attention to your surroundings and don't be afraid to say no thanks if you see something dangerous or illegal being done in the park. A signed waiver is required from everyone 16 years of age or older before they can be allowed to ski or ride down a hillside.