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Update on Mandatory Helmet Controversy - Page 3

post #61 of 165
 Oof.  I wouldn't let my boy ride without a helmet -- hot day or no.  If it's too hot for a helmet, better he swim.  I've seen too many brain-damaged people, people whose lives were just done.  Maybe it's me.

As for your point about cost, I get it.  I didn't buy a helmet until this year because each dollar I spend on skiing would probably have a better use elsewhere.   I never buy skis over $200; my jacket's ten years old (and leaking); and my boots are used (and not that great-fitting).  But I love to ski -- and I value my head, my wife's head, and especially my son's.  So as soon as I could justifying getting helmets for the adults, I did.  (My son's never skied without one.)  But for those people at the mall -- walking is cheap, and so is running, and much more effective than skiing for bringing down the waistline and bringing up cardiovascular capacity.  So I'm not sure about the cost argument.  Is it a good enough reason to risk brain damage?  

Skiing I don't think is much less risk-controllable than, say, driving or motorcycling -- as far as what individual behavior can control.  Speeds are lower in skiing.  But other skiers are like other drivers, and in skiing as in motorcycling, surface conditions can nail you (a little brake fluid on a curve at seventy -- whoo!).  I can drive as cautiously as I like, but, as I said above, some kid could just as well be doing tricks on the roadway ahead.  (I had a half-second to react, the cops told me -- not enough time, even when you know what's going to happen.)  And motorcycling?  Cars DO NOT SEE YOU.  Sometimes they change lanes abruptly.  It just happens; you have no control.  
The parking lot thing makes sense, although I think the variables are generally fewer there, and the speeds involved less, than on the ski slope.  Maybe not.

Anyway, I'm still curious about the increase in head injuries attributable to bike helmets.  Has anyone analyzed this data?

Thx.
post #62 of 165
It's not caused directly by bike helmets.  There's a strong correlation between bike helmet laws/wholesale adoption, decreased rates of riding, and upticks in rates of fatalities and serious head injuries for cyclists.  The decreased rates of riding I think do have a direct causal link though. 

In terms of kids and helmets, it's a very personal decision and there's no right or wrong.  Some people have their kids wear headgear in soccer now (I actually don't think this is a bad idea btw).  Head injuries are serious things, but they can occur in a variety of activities, including golf and basketball.

Re: motorcycles, which are probably the most-studied helmet-wise, it's pretty clear that helmets don't, in the aggregate, seem to make a significant difference either way in terms of fatalities and serious head injuries, or in terms of average medical expenses.  (They can help protect against things like serious skin damage and so forth though which can also be life-altering.  But, so can leathers.  I wince whenever I see someone riding in their t-shirt, but it doesn't mean they need to get a ticket for it, and frankly cyclists face the same issues with roadrash.)

Just as the data would seem to suggest there's no compelling reason for the government to mandate motorcyclists use helemets (either in terms of safety or financial/insruance/medicaid costs), there's no reason for something like OSHA to get involved.  Except for purposes of asserting bureaucratic power, which bureaucracies love to do.
post #63 of 165
     Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

Actually, helmets are not designed to protect against neck injuries at all, and may actually increase the risk of some types of neck injuries and skull fractures, as well as some types of "whiplash" induced concussions.

Wait, is this true for skiing as well? Helmets may increase the risk of whiplash concussions? That's when you fall and your head catches up with the ground after your body, right? That's why I got a helmet, to protect myself from that - the only times I've hit my head thus far.
post #64 of 165
^^^ You're describing a direct blow to the head.  Whiplash is generally referring to concussions with no direct blow.
post #65 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

^^^ You're describing a direct blow to the head.  Whiplash is generally referring to concussions with no direct blow.

I was going to ask "How can you get a concussion without hitting your head?" but then I read "Concussion, from the Latin concutere ("to shake violently")." Thanks for the clarification.
post #66 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post

  (My guess is that helmet-refusers would still ski if they were forced to wear helmets, though I may be wrong.)

Now that is a good question.

For me, if my preferred ski area adopted a mandatory helmet policy for freeskiing I would stop skiing there and spend my ski dollars at a different mountain.
post #67 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post



Just as an exercise: what would you consider not to be weak?  
 

An answer that isn't simply the question with the "why" replaced with "because" and the question mark by a period.

"Take this job and shove it." would not be weak. Whining about the dress code, a little weak, but I'm glad the workers at JH will be free to select their own head coverings or wear nothing at all (on their heads) if they choose. I wish I had a life where such a concern would seem like a significant problem. To me, it sounds a little like a princess on top of a 4000+ foot mattress who can feel a pea under it. Count your blessings.
post #68 of 165
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

I wish I had a life where such a concern would seem like a significant problem. To me, it sounds a little like a princess on top of a 4000+ foot mattress who can feel a pea under it. Count your blessings.

Just for the record, I'll admit I'm not the most sensitive of people but I think I'd be able to feel a ski helmet on my head a little more easily than I'd be able to feel a pea under a 4,000 ft mattress.

I'm glad I didn't have to make the decision, but I was fairly convinced that if the decree had come down that I would be required to wear a helmet while instructing then my instructing days might have been over.  It should be obvious by now that I really dislike wearing one unless I'm doing something that *I* believe warrants the extra protection.
post #69 of 165
I've been wearing a helmet for the past 4 years, because a) my parents make me (I'm a minor), b) it's warm and c) it gives me more confidence. That doesn't mean that I've started jumping off cliffs without fear or think to myself that I'll come off scratch-free if I fall, but it's kind of a psychological thing that I don't think I've even thought about until now. Even if helmets didn't mean a thing, it's a little insurance, mentally.
post #70 of 165
 this is pretty slippery slope as to wear a helmet while walking up and down a segerated magic carpet run while teaching 3-6 years old how to ski on a 50 degree plus day is REALLY obsurd.

I am one of the biggest advocated of wearing a helmet ever but would prefer to see this not to go into effect anywhere I am working as I dont wear a helmet when teaching beginners on hot days.
post #71 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

 this is pretty slippery slope as to wear a helmet while walking up and down a segerated magic carpet run while teaching 3-6 years old how to ski on a 50 degree plus day is REALLY obsurd.

I am one of the biggest advocated of wearing a helmet ever but would prefer to see this not to go into effect anywhere I am working as I dont wear a helmet when teaching beginners on hot days.

My only objection to this, and the reason I got a bike helmet, is that the obligation to model safe behavior for me trumps personal comfort.  Of course, we're arguing over whether this particular "safe behavior" is really safe or sane, etc., but my parental-protectiveness mode kicks in whenever I see an unprotected little head zipping along on a wheeled or slidey vehicle surrounded by hard objects and hurtling, brainless super-studs. Your scenario contains neither of these, though, obviously, and if it weren't for the modeling factor, I couldn't object.
post #72 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post




My only objection to this, and the reason I got a bike helmet, is that the obligation to model safe behavior for me trumps personal comfort.  Of course, we're arguing over whether this particular "safe behavior" is really safe or sane, etc., but my parental-protectiveness mode kicks in whenever I see an unprotected little head zipping along on a wheeled or slidey vehicle surrounded by hard objects and hurtling, brainless super-studs. Your scenario contains neither of these, though, obviously, and if it weren't for the modeling factor, I couldn't object.

I agree and its exactly why I wear my helmet with all chairlifts riders but at 3 some kids head cant even support a helmet.

FYI I never freeski inbounds without a helmet, Ill sometime go touring 'meadow skipping" style with out one but in all honesty skiing low angle corn or low angle powder out of bounds is tons safer than skiing a blue or green run inbounds.
post #73 of 165
 Makes sense to me.
post #74 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post




Now that is a good question.

For me, if my preferred ski area adopted a mandatory helmet policy for freeskiing I would stop skiing there and spend my ski dollars at a different mountain.
 

I'm just wondering what would happen if helmets became, like, mandatory everywhere.  Would you give up skiing then?
post #75 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
 while teaching 3-6 years old how to ski on a 50 degree plus day is REALLY obsurd.
New mandatory safety gear for teaching 3-6 year old skiers
post #76 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 if it weren't for the modeling factor, I couldn't object.

I prefer to model rational than paranoid behaviour for my kids.
post #77 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

An answer that isn't simply the question with the "why" replaced with "because" and the question mark by a period.

"Take this job and shove it." would not be weak. 

Ah, the "Quit if you don't like it" argument.  So, would "I think helmets are severely over-rated and I'm reasonably confident in my ability to avoid a helmet-preventable accident when I'm not wearing one and they get in my way at times when I really don't need that and sometimes they cause more problems than they solve" be weak?  

Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post

I'm just wondering what would happen if helmets became, like, mandatory everywhere.  Would you give up skiing then?

I doubt they'll ever become mandatory in the backcountry, so I'd see no need to give up skiing. 
post #78 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
I'm glad I didn't have to make the decision, but I was fairly convinced that if the decree had come down that I would be required to wear a helmet while instructing then my instructing days might have been over.  It should be obvious by now that I really dislike wearing one unless I'm doing something that *I* believe warrants the extra protection.
 

Bob,  As of Dec 1, 2009 National Ski Patrol is now saying ........ read for yourself

NATIONAL SKI PATROL TEAMS WITH LEADING HELMET SAFETY PROGRAM - NSP is working closely with PHAT (Protect Head at All Times) to encourage helmet use among skiers.

........... "urging ski areas to mandate helmet use for employees; "


PHAT - see http://www.skihelmetsafety.org/

Personally I only like wearing a helmet some of the time.  Then again I use to paint 60 foot ski lift towers without any safety belts, harnesses or lanyards.   I am sure that is is not allowed anymore. 

I think the days of not wearing a helmet are numbered.  Enjoy it while it lasts. 


for us nerds


Edited by catskills - 12/6/09 at 5:19pm
post #79 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post




I prefer to model rational than paranoid behaviour for my kids.


I'd be ok with this until I saw my kid in a wheelchair, or dead.  Then I'd think, you know, maybe I should have been more careful.  If you want to call me paranoid for hoping to save the brains and the life of my kid, fine.  I'll take the insult like a man.  I think I can handle it.
post #80 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post



Ah, the "Quit if you don't like it" argument.  So, would "I think helmets are severely over-rated and I'm reasonably confident in my ability to avoid a helmet-preventable accident when I'm not wearing one and they get in my way at times when I really don't need that and sometimes they cause more problems than they solve" be weak?  


I doubt they'll ever become mandatory in the backcountry, so I'd see no need to give up skiing. 
 

I was reasonably confident I could avoid a car accident that a seat belt would save my life in.  But I couldn't. 
post #81 of 165
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post

I'd be ok with this until I saw my kid in a wheelchair, or dead.  Then I'd think, you know, maybe I should have been more careful.  If you want to call me paranoid for hoping to save the brains and the life of my kid, fine.  I'll take the insult like a man.  I think I can handle it.
 
It's truly amazing to me that I and all the dozens of kids I grew up and played with ever managed to reach the age of 21. 

How we ever survived all the bike riding, sledding, tree climbing, hunting, fishing, and general grubbing around is a major mystery.  We weren't even required to wear helmets in BASEBALL until I was in high school.

By the time I got to my mid-teens, I think cars, beer, and girls were far riskier than helmetless outdoor activities.
post #82 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post

I was reasonably confident I could avoid a car accident that a seat belt would save my life in.  But I couldn't. 

You know, don't you, that driving a car is much more dangerous than skiing?  Point being, comparisons like that are irrelevant.  Do you wear a helmet when you're in the car or when you're taking a shower?  
post #83 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

 Do you wear a helmet when you're in the car or when you're taking a shower?  

Only as a role model, I mean, after all, how could I look myself in the mirror if my kid should suffer a head injury in a car accident while not wearing a helmet?  (Couldn't resist)
post #84 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post



You know, don't you, that driving a car is much more dangerous than skiing?  Point being, comparisons like that are irrelevant.  Do you wear a helmet when you're in the car or when you're taking a shower?  

Makes sense -- on the other hand, in a car you're sort of driving in a helmet, aren't you, so why duplicate?  And the problem with helmets in the shower is that you can't wash your hair, which is one of the main points of showering.  Maybe not.  Anyway, in the shower, you don't normally have other drivers or other skiers, over whom you've got no control, zooming into your space  So, no, eliminating all risk is a pretty stupid goal.  Death is death, and it's going to happen.  You make a trade-off somehow.

But if I can easily eliminate some risk (a helmet is easy, you know; it's not like putting your head in a medieval torture device, with blinders and nails in your eyes) for my child during an activity that's essentially optional, I will.  I'm the adult; I'm the parent.  It's my responsibility.  If he makes it to twenty-one alive and healthy, he can make his own decisions, and hate me if he wants.  
post #85 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post




Only as a role model, I mean, after all, how could I look myself in the mirror if my kid should suffer a head injury in a car accident while not wearing a helmet?  (Couldn't resist)

I guess I'd have trouble with the mirror if I did something stupid and got my kid hurt in a car accident, since I'm the driver.  If I didn't make him wear a belt, especially.  Wouldn't you?
post #86 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post



You know, don't you, that driving a car is much more dangerous than skiing?  Point being, comparisons like that are irrelevant.  Do you wear a helmet when you're in the car or when you're taking a shower?  

Oh, sorry -- my point was only that we're all reasonably sure we can avoid accidents, because we only know what we've experienced.  I can swerve out of the way, you think, if some jerk comes over the hill in my lane.  But if it's an accident, you don't have time, that's all.
post #87 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post




Only as a role model, I mean, after all, how could I look myself in the mirror if my kid should suffer a head injury in a car accident while not wearing a helmet?  (Couldn't resist)
 

Pretty much sums it up.

In terms of what protective gear people choose for themselves or their kids, I have no problem, generally, with personal choice either way.  Rationally, playgrounds are more dangerous for kids in terms of head injuries than ski areas, but there is not yet any move to even voluntary helmet use there. 

In terms of unintended consequences of bureaucrats trying to impose them on employees or legislators on ski area patrons, though, there are lots.  Not to mention the effects of a continuing erosion of personal choice, made all the worse when the erosion occurs in service of something that's not rational.
post #88 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post



It's truly amazing to me that I and all the dozens of kids I grew up and played with ever managed to reach the age of 21. 

How we ever survived all the bike riding, sledding, tree climbing, hunting, fishing, and general grubbing around is a major mystery.  We weren't even required to wear helmets in BASEBALL until I was in high school.

By the time I got to my mid-teens, I think cars, beer, and girls were far riskier than helmetless outdoor activities.
 

You're probably right.  I'm sure only two or three children anywhere ever died or were paralyzed in outdoor accidents when you and I were young.  I don't recall any.  (Well, maybe one or two.)  But people used to let their kids do all kinds of things, like stand up on the front seats of cars, until those interfering feds made it a crime.  And miraculously, only those kids who were in car accidents ever got thrown through the windshield and died.  Heck, who ever heard of anyone ever getting hurt (except somebody you never knew, or didn't know very well). 
post #89 of 165
^^^

This type of purely emotional argument is pretty typical of support of mandatory helmets. 
post #90 of 165
Folk buy helmets but how many test them for fractures/cracks etc after dropping them or even actually replace them?


This is some advice they give about Motor Cycle Helmets I wonder how many Snowsporters observe the same?

Damage to helmets

If your helmet receives any serious impact buy a new one. Damage won't always be visible to the naked eye and a damaged helmet could be unreliable in an accident. We recommend you never buy a second-hand helmet.

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