Dr. Karl Kabasele HQ
SKI HELMETS NOT EFFECTIVE!

So what kind of helmet should your child be wearing for winter sports?
A child sliding down a hill on a toboggan, inner tube or plastic sled could crash into a stationary object or person and experience a high-impact brain injury.  A child who falls down while skating and hits her head on the ice may still experience brain trauma, although it would likely be of a lower impact.  In both scenarios, a helmet could help to lower the risk of brain injury, but as it stands today there is no multi-purpose helmet available in North America for kids’ winter activities.
Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the University of Ottawa decided to answer the question, which of the currently available types of helmets is best for tobogganing and skating.  They tested helmets for ice hockey, bicycling and downhill skiing and found that for low speed impacts like those from a fall in skating, hockey helmets offered the best protection.  For higher speed head injuries like those that might be sustained while tobogganing the bicycle helmet performed the best.  Of all the helmets, the downhill skiing helmet performed the worst – this is probably because they are made in Europe and fail to meet the rigorous criteria of the Canadian Standards Association.
The bottom line is that while helmets can’t always prevent traumatic brain injuries, they can certainly reduce the risk.  What’s important is to choose the right helmet for the particular sport your child is participating in, make sure it meets safety standards, and make sure it fits your child’s head as it should.
For an overview of warning signs that indicate that your child needs medical attention after a head injury, see: http://bit.ly/w5X6C1
(photo of the Neuro-Impact Lab courtesy of University of Ottawa, Faculty of Health Sciences)

SKI HELMETS NOT EFFECTIVE!

So what kind of helmet should your child be wearing for winter sports?

A child sliding down a hill on a toboggan, inner tube or plastic sled could crash into a stationary object or person and experience a high-impact brain injury.  A child who falls down while skating and hits her head on the ice may still experience brain trauma, although it would likely be of a lower impact.  In both scenarios, a helmet could help to lower the risk of brain injury, but as it stands today there is no multi-purpose helmet available in North America for kids’ winter activities.

Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the University of Ottawa decided to answer the question, which of the currently available types of helmets is best for tobogganing and skating.  They tested helmets for ice hockey, bicycling and downhill skiing and found that for low speed impacts like those from a fall in skating, hockey helmets offered the best protection.  For higher speed head injuries like those that might be sustained while tobogganing the bicycle helmet performed the best.  Of all the helmets, the downhill skiing helmet performed the worst – this is probably because they are made in Europe and fail to meet the rigorous criteria of the Canadian Standards Association.

The bottom line is that while helmets can’t always prevent traumatic brain injuries, they can certainly reduce the risk.  What’s important is to choose the right helmet for the particular sport your child is participating in, make sure it meets safety standards, and make sure it fits your child’s head as it should.

For an overview of warning signs that indicate that your child needs medical attention after a head injury, see: http://bit.ly/w5X6C1

(photo of the Neuro-Impact Lab courtesy of University of Ottawa, Faculty of Health Sciences)

  1. drkarlkabasele posted this