Preventable Injuries, Helmet Awareness

Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last month I was invited to an event hosted by Preventable to learn more about preventable injuries in particularly in regards to winter sports. I am a firm believer in wearing a helmet when I snowboard or cycle (and I have to be better at wearing one when I ice skate) so this was of particular interest.

Some quick facts:

  • Preventable injuries are the #1 killer of British Columbians. That means more people between the ages of 1 and 44 die each year in our province from entirely preventable circumstances than they do from heart disease or cancers.
  • Every hour of every day, 47 British Columbians suffer a preventable injury.
  • When it comes to safety on the slopes and at play, a helmet is a no brainer. Here are some tips on selecting the right helmet to get your children or yourself.

  • Helmets are not for making fashion statements so avoid getting caught up in styles and look for safety ratings (if you can find one that looks cool and rates well, then that’s a bonus).
  • Safety ratings include a CE, ASTM or Snell RS-98 certification.
  • The helmet should fit snugly, but not feel constricting. Nor should it feel loose.
  • The chin strap should fit snugly under the chin.
  • The user should be able to hear others clearly when wearing it.
    (source: suite101)

    Dr. Ian Pike, Director of the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit said that wearing a helmet, is like having fire insurance on your house. “We know we have to have it, we all buy it, but we hope to hell we won’t have to use it.”

    Ski helmets are currently mandatory for kids at big time resorts such as Vail, Aspen, Mt Tremblant, and Whistler Blackcomb. If you don’t have your own helmet be sure to rent one when you get your gear.

    On local mountains you can rent a helmet at Mount Seymour for $8, Cypress for $6.67, and at Grouse Mountain for $8.

    For updates on preventable injuries, you can follow @Preventable on Twitter.

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    3 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

    1. LMSunday, January 10th, 2010 — 1:52pm PST

      I don’t get the ad/PSA…what do you figure is the thinking behind ‘You probably won’t need a helmet today?’ I think what it suggests – ‘yeah your right, I probably won’t, so let’s go snowboard’ is much more likely than someone reading it and thinking ‘yeah but I might, so I’ll go get one.’ No? Am I missing something?

    2. Miss604Monday, January 11th, 2010 — 4:01pm PST

      @ LM I have asked Preventable to comment but I think (from an outside view) it’s moreso like the quote I have from Dr Ian Pike… you may not need a helmet today per se but you will certainly want to be wearing one should anything happen.

    3. The Community Against Preventable InjuriesTuesday, January 12th, 2010 — 11:51am PST

      Thanks for the comment. Believe us, we’ve wrestled a lot with how to best get people thinking about preventable injuries. We know that most people know how to prevent injuries. The problem is that most people continue to take risks believing that, “It won’t happen to me.” And our research shows that telling people what to do to prevent injuries does nothing to make people question their behaviour. We’re told to do so many things in our life so who really wants to be told they need to do more? People understandably tune the message out. Our approach is to respect people’s intelligence and get people to contemplate their behaviours in a constructive way. We believe (and hope) campaigns like this will make people think things like, “I put a helmet on my kid on the ski hill, why don’t I put one on myself?” Since we started The Community Against Preventable Injuries our research has shown that it does makes people stop, even for a moment, to reflect on why statements like this are being made. If we’ve made someone consider their possibly dangerous behaviours for the first time in their life, even if most people don’t immediately change their ways, we’ve made progress in preventing needless injuries in the future.

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