Here are some different perspectives - original data data published in peer reviewed major international journals (the full text of most of these papers is available through pubmed links to the journal publishers):
BMJ. 2005 Feb 5;330(7486):281. Epub 2005 Jan 4.Related Articles, Links
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...e-bmj-free.gif http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/corehtml...pubmed-pmc.gifEffectiveness of helmets in skiers and snowboarders: case-control and case crossover study.Hagel BE, Pless IB, Goulet C, Platt RW, Robitaille Y.
- BMJ. 2005 Feb 12;330(7487):345.
Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, Department of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, 4075 RTF, 8308-114 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2E1. firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of helmets on the risk of head and neck injuries in skiers and snowboarders. DESIGN: Matched case-control and case crossover study. SETTING: 19 ski areas in Quebec, Canada, November 2001 to April 2002. PARTICIPANTS: 1082 skiers and snowboarders (cases) with head and neck injuries reported by the ski patrol and 3295 skiers and snowboarders (controls) with non-head or non-neck injuries matched to cases at each hill. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Estimates of matched odds ratios for the effect of helmet use on the risk of any head or neck injury and for people requiring evacuation by ambulance. RESULTS: The adjusted odds ratio for helmet use in participants with any head injury was 0.71 (95% confidence interval 0.55 to 0.92), indicating a 29% reduction in the risk of head injury. For participants who required evacuation by ambulance for head injuries, the adjusted odds ratio for helmet use was 0.44 (0.24 to 0.81). Similar results occurred with the case crossover design (odds ratio 0.43, 0.09 to 1.83). The adjusted odds ratio for helmet use for participants with any neck injury was 0.62 (0.33 to 1.19) and for participants who required evacuation by ambulance for neck injuries it was 1.29 (0.41 to 4.04). CONCLUSIONS: Helmets protect skiers and snowboarders against head injuries. We cannot rule out the possibility of an increased risk of neck injury with helmet use, but the estimates on which this assumption is based are imprecise.
PMID: 15632094 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Accid Anal Prev. 2005 Jan;37(1):103-8.Related Articles, Linkshttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...PubMedLink.gifThe effect of helmet use on injury severity and crash circumstances in skiers and snowboarders.Hagel B, Pless IB, Goulet C, Platt R, Robitaille Y.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, Montreal, Que., Canada. email@example.com
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of helmet use on non-head-neck injury severity and crash circumstances in skiers and snowboarders. We used a matched case-control study over the November 2001 to April 2002 winter season. 3295 of 4667 injured skiers and snowboarders reporting to the ski patrol at 19 areas in Quebec with non-head, non-neck injuries agreed to participate. Cases included those evacuated by ambulance, admitted to hospital, with restriction of normal daily activities (NDAs) >6 days, with non-helmet equipment damage, fast self-reported speed, participating on a more difficult run than usual, and jumping-related injury. Controls were injured participants without severe injuries or high-energy crash circumstances and were matched to cases on ski area, activity, day, age, and sex. Conditional logistic regression was used to relate each outcome to helmet use. There was no evidence that helmet use increased the risk of severe injury or high-energy crash circumstances. The results suggest that helmet use in skiing and snowboarding is not associated with riskier activities that lead to non-head-neck injuries.
PMID: 15607281 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]as regards children:
Inj Prev. 2004 Apr;10(2):99-102.Related Articles, Linkshttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...yprev-free.gifDownhill skiing injury fatalities among children.Xiang H, Stallones L, Smith GA.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, USA.
OBJECTIVE: Young skiers are at increased risk for injury, however, epidemiological data on skiing related fatal injuries among child skiers are scarce. This study aimed to provide information needed to develop injury control and prevention programs. DESIGN AND SETTING: Study subjects came from Colorado, USA and were identified using a death certificate based surveillance system. Fatal injuries were limited to events that occurred at established commercial ski resorts in Colorado, and subjects were classified as child skiers (0-17 years) or adult skiers (> or =18 years). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Type and external cause, time, and week day of injury, gender and residency of the decedents. RESULTS: During the study period from 1980-2001, 149 fatal injuries associated with downhill skiing were identified; 21 (14.1%) occurred among child skiers aged < or =17 years. The age of the youngest decedent was 7 years. In females the proportion of fatal injuries among child skiers was nearly three times that of adults. Traumatic brain injuries were the leading cause of death (67% of all deaths) among children, while multiple internal injuries and traumatic brain injuries accounted for almost equal proportions of fatal injuries among adults. Collision was the leading external mechanism of fatal injuries, accounting for more than two thirds of fatal injuries in both child and adult skiers. CONCLUSIONS: Traumatic brain injury was the leading cause and collision was the leading external injury mechanism of fatal injuries associated with downhill skiing among child skiers. This underscores the importance of brain injury prevention strategies, including the use of ski helmets and prevention of collisions on ski slopes.
PMID: 15066975 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Inj Prev. 2002 Dec;8(4):324-7.Related Articles, LinksEffect of helmet wear on the incidence of head/face and cervical spine injuries in young skiers and snowboarders.Macnab AJ, Smith T, Gagnon FA, Macnab M.
Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
PURPOSE: To evaluate whether helmets increase the incidence and/or severity of cervical spine injury; decrease the incidence of head injury; and/or increase the incidence of collisions (as a reflection of adverse effects on peripheral vision and/or auditory acuity) among young skiers and snowboarders. METHODS: During one ski season (1998-99) at a world class ski resort, all young skiers and snowboarders (<13 years of age) presenting with head, face, or neck injury to the one central medical facility at the base of the mountain were identified. On presentation to the clinic, subjects or their parents completed a questionnaire reviewing their use of helmets and circumstances surrounding the injury event. Physicians documented the site and severity of injury, investigations, and disposition of each patient. Concurrently, counts were made at the entry to the ski area of the number of skiers and snowboarders wearing helmets. RESULTS: Seventy children were evaluated at the clinic following ski/snowboard related head, neck, and face injuries. Fourteen did not require investigation or treatment. Of the remaining 56, 17 (30%) were wearing helmets and 39 (70%) were not. No serious neck injury occurred in either group. Using helmet-use data from the hill, among those under 13 years of age, failure to wear a helmet increased the risk of head, neck, or face injury (relative risk (RR) 2.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.23 to 4.12). When corrected for activity, RR was 1.77 and 95% CI 0.98 to 3.19. There was no significant difference in the odds ratio for collisions. The two groups may have been different in terms of various relevant characteristics not evaluated. No separate analysis of catastrophic injuries was possible. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that, in skiers and snowboarders under 13 years of age, helmet use does not increase the incidence of cervical spine injury and does reduce the incidence of head injury requiring investigation and/or treatment.