The importance of helmets

WRITTEN BY: ALLISON BUTTERFIELD

COVER PHOTO COURTESY: WIX

More than 40 percent of snow skiing and snowboarding-related head injuries reported each year could have been prevented or minimized with helmet use, according to a Consumer Product Safety Commission study. Helmets are very important to wear for winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and sledding. But what purpose do they serve?

“I would say because if you hit your head or something then there wouldn’t be anything to cushion your head,” freshman Michael Ouoba said.

As reported in lehighvalleylive.com, in 2007, a study in upstate New York showed that kids reach an average speed of 19 mph when sledding downhill. At that speed it makes sense to wear a helmet. According to WebMd, there are 20,000 injuries a year from sledding.

“A couple years ago I was sledding at cascades and some guys sled into me. I got a pretty serious concussion and ever since my mom will try to shove a helmet on me before I go sledding,” sophomore Katy Krieger said.

With skiing and snowboarding being popular sports, people need to make the sensible choice of always wearing a helmet. National Ski Areas Association predicts by 2021, everyone will be wearing helmets. Helmets are not only great for protection but can also be a fun fashion statement with the many designs and covers they make nowadays.

Given all we know, it is hard to believe why people would not wear helmets. In some countries it is mandatory for kids to wear helmets.

It is not just winter sports where you have to worry about head injuries; many other sports require helmets to provide more safety. The importance of helmets varies between the activities people do.

“Probably anything that has contact,” sophomore Sedona Lawson said.

While many sports make helmets mandatory, there are a handful of contact sports that don’t make them necessary. Winter sports like hockey make their teams and players wear helmets to prevent certain head injuries. Factors of the sport like contact and hard surfaces answer the question of why anyone in hockey should wear helmets.

“People wear helmets to avoid getting concussions and getting hurt,” sophomore Harshita Rathod said.

Even if a person isn’t involved in a contact sport, or any sport at all, the debate of whether they should still wear helmets during winter activities goes on. Many argue that people who do winter recreational activities, like skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating should still wear protection for their heads. While the risk of concussion is significantly lower when doing non-sport activities, the possibility is still there.

Whether you are playing hockey, riding a bike, or simply just snowboarding down a slope, it is important to wear a helmet. It can prevent concussions, head injuries and possibly save your life.

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