Ski Helmets Laws Hit Europe

Austria has taken further steps to make the wearing of Ski Helmets compulsory for children under fifteen years old.

Upper Austria made it compulsory for children to wear ski helmets last season and now Lower Austria has followed up with a similar law. The Lower Austrian provincial parliament passed the new ruling into law this month.

A major driving force in this legislation’s introduction was the death of a woman last winter after she was hit on the ski slopes by the German politician Dieter Althaus. This was a major news story in Austria and was the catalyst that caused many to buy ski helmets voluntarily and some areas of the country to start drafting laws which would make it compulsory to wear one.

Another high-profile winter sports related death that would likely have been avoided by the use of a ski helmet was that of the actress Natasha Richardson in Canada. This received worldwide news coverage last year.

By all means not everybody is in favour of compulsory use of childrens ski helmets though. One Upper Austrian politician, the Green Party chairman (Rudi Anschober) said that most children already wear a helmet and that compulsion is simply not necessary.

Parents in Austria have been made legally responsible for ensuring that their child wears a protective helmet whilst skiing, but it is not clear what the punishment for not wearing one is goint to be.

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Ski Helmets Mandatory In More Resorts For 2011

This coming season a lot more ski resorts have implemented bye-laws making the wearing of ski helmets mandatory.

Fortunately, helmet wearing amongst adult skiers was already on the increase with latest figures showing that some 48% of grown-ups now wear a helmet whilst skiing . That figure is a lot higher when it comes to children as parents have for some years recognised the sense in encouraging their youngsters to ski with head protection. The days of wearing a ski helmet and feeling uncool are now over for good. Wearing a ski or snowboard helmet has finally come to be regarded as the only sensible option and amongst younger newcomers to snow sports, is simply regarded as the norm.
Recent research by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has found that a large number of the 7,000+ head injuries per year that occur on the country’s ski and snowboard slopes could be prevented or reduced in severity by the wearing of a ski helmet. Despite these high risks, legislation has been slow in coming. Thankfully the use of helmets for skiing and snowboarding has gained in popularity, increasing in the 2008-09 season by 12 percent over the previous season, according to a survey by the National Ski Areas Association.
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Ski Helmets Save Lives

Ski helmets save lives.
This is an undisputable fact.
A good quality ski helmet will help to protect your head from injuries that could be sustained in falls on or off piste or collisions with other skiers or obstacles such as ski-lift pylons and trees.
Your head and (of course) your brain are the most important parts of your body to protect from an injury and also it’s one of the esiest areas to protect.
Damage to your head or brain can have serious implications, which can often turn out to be fatal.
Not wearing a helmet while skiing is as foolhardy as taking a motorcycle out helmetless or not wearing a seat belt in a car.
EvenĀ  the slightest accident involving hitting your head in some way can cause skull and brain injuries.
The recent untimely death of Natasha Richardson in a skiing accident earlier this year should serve as a wake-up call for those who still think that not wearing a ski helmet is a trivial matter.
Not paying attention to your personal safety in such a simple way as using inobtrusive devices such as ski helmets really can have terminal consequences.

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